- any seedless, nonflowering vascular plant of the class Filicinae, of tropical to temperate regions, characterized by true roots produced from a rhizome, triangular fronds that uncoil upward and have a branching vein system, and reproduction by spores contained in sporangia that appear as brown dots on the underside of the fronds.
Origin of fern
- a female given name.
Examples from the Web for ferns
Maintaining the high caliber of guest to which his viewers have become accustomed, Galifianakis welcomes Brad Pitt to the ferns.Brad Pitt and Louis C.K. Go ‘Between Two Ferns’
Alex Chancey, The Daily Beast Video
October 23, 2014
They did a bunch of pro-Obamacare videos, including the famous “Between Two Ferns” sketch with President Obama.How Funny or Die Plans to Cover ISIS, Ebola and Elections
October 10, 2014
Zach Galifianakis invited the president to chat on his Internet talk show “Between Two Ferns,” and boy, did Obama sass Zach back.Obama ‘Between Two Ferns,’ Kevin Bacon, Baby Tigers and More Viral Videos
March 15, 2014
Or, more specifically, President Obama appearing on the humorous Zach Galifianakis web series, “Between Two Ferns.”Why the GOP Can’t Take a Joke
March 13, 2014
Best Moment: When Ben Stiller attempts to destroy the "Two Ferns" set.Justin Bieber, Jon Hamm & the Best of 'Between Two Ferns' (VIDEO)
September 26, 2013
On the shadiest side homed most of the ferns and the Cotyledon.Her Father's Daughter
But the journey to the Ferns and back would have occupied some time.
Can you send a messenger to the Ferns, to ask if he has been seen there?
All over the surface of the marsh, between these big trees, grew the ferns.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
I had suggested their being fitted on again, as with the croton leaves and ferns.Lotus Buds
- any tracheophyte plant of the phylum Filicinophyta, having roots, stems, and fronds and reproducing by spores formed in structures (sori) on the frondsSee also tree fern
- any of certain similar but unrelated plants, such as the sweet fern
Word Origin and History for ferns
Old English fearn, from Proto-Germanic *farno- (cf. Old Saxon farn, Middle Dutch vaern, Dutch varen, Old High German farn, German Farn), possibly with a sense of "having feathery fronds" and from PIE *por-no-, a root which has yielded words for "feather, wing" (cf. Sanskrit parnam "feather;" Lithuanian papartis "fern;" Russian paporot'; Greek pteris "fern," pteron "feather"), from root *per- (see petition (n.)). The plant's ability to appear as if from nothing accounts for the ancient belief that fern seeds conferred invisibility.
- Any of numerous seedless vascular plants belonging to the phylum Pterophyta that reproduce by means of spores and usually have feathery fronds divided into many leaflets. Most species of ferns are homosporous (producing only one kind of spore). The haploid spore grows into a small, usually flat gametophyte known as a prothallus, which is undifferentiated into roots, stems, and leaves. The green prothallus anchors itself with hairlike extensions known as rhizoids and bears both archegonia (organs producing female gametes) and antheridia (organs producing male gametes). The male gametes require the presence of water to swim to the female gametes and fertilize the eggs. Normally only one embryo is produced, and it then grows out of the gametophyte plant as a diploid sporophyte plant that has roots, stems, and leaves and conducts photosynthesis, while the smaller gametophyte withers away. The leaves of these sporophytes eventually produce sporangia (in some species occurring in clusters known as sori). Under dry conditions, the sori burst releasing hundreds of thousands or millions of spores. Ferns were abundant in the Carboniferous period and exist today in about 11,000 species, about three-quarters of which live in tropical climates.