Pteridophytes General Characteristics
(General Characters of Pteridophytes – The Vascular Cryptogams)
Pteridophytes are plants with Feather like Leaves
Pteridophytes are a group of primitive land plants belongs to the Cryptogams. They are the first evolved plant group with vascular tissue system for the conduction of water and food materials. Due to the presence of vascular tissue, they are called as Vascular Cryptogams. The term Pteridophyte is derived from two words ‘Pteron’ meaning feather and ‘phyton’ meaning plant. Thus, Pteridophytes are the plants with Feather-like leaves. Pteridophytes occupy the intermediate position between Bryophytes and Phanerogams (seed plants). The important characteristics of Pteridophytes are summarized below:
Ø The division Pteridophyta includes primitive living and fossil vascular plants.
Ø They were originated in the Silurian period and flourished in the Devonian period.
Ø They are known as ‘Vascular Cryptogams’ – cryptogams with vascular system.
Ø They show heteromorphic alternation of generation with prominent Sporophytic and Gametophytic phases.
Ø The main plant body of Pteridophyte is the sporophytic plant (diploid).
Ø The gametophytic and sporophytic generations are two independent plants (not physically connected).
Habit and Habitat of Pteridophytes
Ø Pteridophytes show much variation in form, size, and habitat.