Ferns and fern allies belong to the order Filicales, which are seedless (cryptogamic), flowerless, vascular plants found mostly in the humid areas.They can be perennial, annual, terrestrials, aquatics or epiphytes (growing on the tree trunks, walls, dead wood or rock crevices). A lot of ferns have medicinal values for treating various diseases.Majority of them are edible, some are used for feeding domestic animals. Ferns are neglected, less cultivated, underutilized, unrecognized plants and there is lack of awareness of the importance of ferns as ornamental plants and for environmental management in India.Like other plants Ferns also planted as ornamental plant for their showy foliage texture.
- Adiantum: it is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, mediumsized, herbaceous plant growing well on the soil in the semi-forest or derived savanna. Several species of this genus commonly grow as pot plant.
- Pteris: It is a terrestrial, perennial, medium-sized, evergreen, herbaceous plant that grows on the soil in moist forest, derived savanna, re-growth or secondary forest.Species of fern commonly called silver lace fern.
- Nephrolepis: Its common names for the species are Boston sword fern,lemon button fern or rabbit’s foot fern. Plant is a terrestrial, perennial, short, ever green, herbaceous fern with curled leaflets.
- Phymatodes: It is called golden rod fern or wart fern. It is epiphytic, perennial, climber; medium-sized herbaceous fern growing on the palm tree or wood in wet shaded forest or secondary forest naturally but become terrestrial as a cultivated potted plant.
- Ceratopteris: Aquatic fern species possesses a short upright rhizome and grows as an annual. It has been used to decorate fish tank and as a food source. This fern has been a key model organism for various experiments to study the developmental biology and genetics related research.