Fern Leaf with Sori and Spores (and plant pores; stomata). About 12,000 species of plants belong to the ferns, an ancient botanical group of plants known as Pteridophyta.
Unlike mosses, ferns have xylem and phloem, thus they are vascular plants. They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants. Ferns reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. The life cycle of ferns is different from flowering plants and characterized by alternating diploid sporophytic and haploid gametophytic phases. The gametophyte of ferns is a free-living organism, whereas the gametophyte of the gymnosperms and angiosperms is dependent on the sporophyte.