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U.S. Forest Service


Explore the Wonderful World of Ferns!

Usually people focus on the showy wildflowers and do not pay attention to the ferns. We will guide you through the wonderful diversity of ferns growing on America’s national forests and grasslands. Ferns are an outstanding part of the native flora. Once you start to look for them among the wildflowers you will discover what some of us have long known: ferns are fascinating and beautiful.

Northern wood fern (Dryopteris expansa).

What are Ferns?

How ferns are related to other plants.

A fern leaf or frond.

Fern Structure

What are the parts of a fern and how are they arranged?

Colony of Anderson's hollyfern (Polystichum andersonii).


How ferns, horsetails, and scouring-rushes reproduce.

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alasksa.

Fern Viewing Areas

Places to see and enjoy living ferns.

Maidenhair ferns (Adiantum spp.) coloring page.

Coloring Pages

Kids, learn about ferns as you color them.

River horsetail, Equisetum fluviatile.

More Information

Books and links to more information about ferns.