Pteridophytes are a group of vascular plants that reproduce through “spores” instead of seeds. More commonly known as ferns, these plants have modified leaves also known as fronds. They lack flowers and seeds thus producing spores contained in a cluster of sporangia called “sori”.
These plants can thrive in various habitats from mangroves, freshwater swamps, lowland tropical evergreen forest, and mossy forest. It is widely used as a source of food, medicine, materials for handicrafts, and construction materials. Because of its wide range of leaf shapes, pteridophytes are used as ornamental plants in gardens and foliage in a fresh-cut flower arrangement.
There are around 12,000 species of pteridophytes in the world, 10% of which are found in the Philippines It comprises 1,030 species and 260 endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world.
The Philippine National Herbarium houses several endemic species of ferns such as Cyathea sibuyanensis and others. Lycophytes, also referred to as fern allies are also vascular plants similar to ferns but have unique leaves called microphylls. A total of 5,750 pteridophyte specimens are deposited in the Philippine National Herbarium.