Pteridophytes (Spore Producing Plants: Ferns and More) •


(Psilotum nudum)



Psilotum nudum, known as the skeleton fork fern, is a fernlike plant. Like the other species in the order Psilotales, it lacks roots. It is found in tropical Africa, Central America, tropical and subtropical North America, South America,tropical Asia, Australia, Hawaii, southern Japan, Lord Howe Island, New Zealand, with a few isolated populations in SW Europe ("Los Alcornocales", Spain, C-diz province). Psilotum nudum is considered a "primitive" plant - a descendent of possibly the first group of vascular plants which were widespread during the Devonian and Silurian periods. Its name, Psilotum nudum, means "bare naked" in Latin, because it lacks most of the organs of modern plants. Using comparative morphology, David Bierhorst considers Psilotum to be a primitive fern. In tropical areas, this plant is often epiphytic, whilst in more temperate areas, such as south-eastern Australia, it is usually found growing in rock crevices. Thousands of people per day walk by these plants at the Sydney Opera House forecourt.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Psilophyta
Class: Psilotopsida
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