bublets and fernlets

Most folks have heard the term fiddlehead, a young unfurling fern leaf. 

But have you heard of the BULBLET or FERNLET ???

Bulblets are structures that form on some fern’s leaves. When they contact the ground a new baby fern may begin to grow, a fernlet.  How cute is that? These fernlets are the result of vegetative or asexual reproduction. No spores required!

Sexual reproduction of ferns is somewhat complex. They are plants without seeds, instead producing spores. After the spores fall from the fronds they germinate into prothallium, a flat leaf-shaped growth. Next sexual organs develop on the underside of the prothallium and fertilization can then occur. Months later, the first few fronds appear!

My fiddlehead pics above, from 2020 near Franklin County MO.

Below image,  bulblet and fernlet from US Forest Service.

Below image, fern prothallllia, Fisher Scientific

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