Fern ally

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Fern ally is a general term covering a somewhat diverse group of seedless vascular plants that are not true ferns. Like ferns, these plants disperse by shedding spores to initiate an alternation of generations.

Contents

Classification

There were originally three or four groups of plants considered to be fern allies. In various classification schemes, these may be grouped as classes or divisions within the plant kingdom. The more traditional classification scheme is as follows (here, the first three classes are the "fern allies"):

More recent evidence shows that the class Filices, as described above, is not monophyletic. The following classification represents a consensus view (although different authors may use different names for the various groups):[1]

Note that in either scheme, the same basic groups are recognized (Lycopodiophyta, Equisetopsida, Psilotopsida), but in the most recent scheme only the Lycopodiophyta is not classified with the ferns.

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