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Live Plant Specimens >> Ferns >> Fern Fronds


Fern Fronds

Fern FrondsA frond is the leaf structure of a fern or alga. The term is colloquially applied to the leaves of palms, cycads, and plants with pinnately compound leaves. A significant difference is that, unlike the leaves of the latter, fern fronds bear the reproductive structures (spore-bearing structures) of the sporophyte plant. Because many ferns grow fronds that are held more vertical than horizontal, the "upper" and "lower" surfaces of a frond are more correctly referred to as the adaxial and abaxial surfaces, respectively.

A fern frond consists of a stipe, the stem supporting the blade, and the blade consists of both a laminar (flattened) photosynthetic tissue and a rachis—that portion of the stem to which the laminar tissue is attached. The blades of fern fronds may vary from being simple (undivided) to being highly dissected, even "lace-like". If the leaf tissue is undissected, or the dissections do not reach to the rachis, the frond may be described as lobed or pinnatifid. Otherwise, the blade is compound and each large division of the laminar tissue arising from the rachis is called a pinna (pl., pinnae). The main vein or mid-rib of a pinna is known as a costa (pl., costae). Pinnae may be arranged along the rachis either directly opposite one another or alternating up the stem. The arrangement may change from the base of a blade to the tip, as in the example of Blechnum shown below (from base to tip: pinnae opposite to alternate, and pinnatisect to pinnatifid).

Description Price SelectQuantity
Fern Fronds w/ Sori - Each $ 4.00
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Niles Biological, Inc.
9298 Elder Creek Road
Sacramento, CA 95829
(916) 386-2665