7 Things You Didn’t Know About Ferns

by | May 20, 2023

I recently went to Ferns of the World, which is part of Georgia State University’s Native Plant Botanical Garden. You can get lost in a forest of ferns. The place made me feel like I was in the tropics.

There are plenty of small signs that explain more about the different ferns.

Of course, I started reading about ferns after the excursion. Here’s what I found.

1. Did you know that ferns are actually not a plant, but an “angiosperm” (a flowering plant)?

2. The word “fern” comes from the Latin word for “feather” or “pinion,” which is why some species of fern look like feathers or wings.

3. The world’s largest fern is the California sword fern, which can grow up to 30 feet tall!

4. The longest-living known fern is the epiphytic bladder-senna fern, which has been known to live for more than 200 years.

5. Ferns can be carnivorous! They catch insects with tiny hairs called trichomes that trap them and then digest them in their underground roots.

6. There are over 12,000 different types of ferns in all.

7. Ferns have been around since before dinosaurs roamed the earth—they are at least 400 million years old.