The Sporangia
Of a Fern

By Wan Yu, China


When I was walking near a pool which was not far from my house on a fine afternoon, I suddenly discovered some brown lines on the back of holly fern leaves. I observed them carefully and I was so interested at the structure of the leaves that I brought some of them home.
I made a slide of the leaves and used my microscope to observe it. I discovered there were some interesting structures and I took some images of them.


Image 1 (75X):
It shows the whole structure of the leaf. The leaf is curled at its tip. Within the curl of the leaf tip there are some sporangia which were made up of special thin cells.

Image 2 (200X): 
It shows the detailed structure of a sporangium. It has dehisced and the spores have gone, so you cannot see them, but you can see the large and thin cells which made up the wall of the sporangium.
Images 3 and 4 (200X):

The sporangia which have not dehisced are shown in these images. So you can see some spores (arrowed in the left hand image). There are some additional structures around the sporangia.

All comments to the author Wan Yu are welcomed.

Editor's note: Wan Yu has started his own web site to promote microscopy as a hobby in China.

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Published in the January 2002 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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