Pteris Plant

Pteris Plant is additionally referred to as the brake, a genus that's on the brink of 280-300 species of ferns widely spread across subtropical and tropical regions. Species of Pteris are often seen on the valleys and roadsides of North-Western and Western Himalayas. The P.cretica can grow up to an altitude of 2400m, P.vittata grows less than 1200 m altitudes. Some of its species found in India are – P.wallichiana, P.stenophylla, P. quadriaurita, P.pellucida, P.critica, P.vittata, etc.


The Life Cycle of Pteris 

Pteris is a terrestrial genus that inhabits shady and moist forests and hilly areas. Pteris, the Latin name corresponds to the Greek word for a fern.


In the life cycle of Pteris, the sporophyte is the dominant phase. The sporophyte is the dominant phase which is said to be diploid and independent.

  • The lifecycle can be differentiated into stem, roots, and leaves. Roots arise from the underside of the Rhizome. It can also be around the surface.

  • The embryo gives rise to primary roots which have a short life span, they are replaced by the adventitious roots.

  • Spores are produced in the coenosorus. The spores develop into the prothallus via germination which leads to the gametophyte stage (haploid).

  • The nature of prothallus is, they are short living, independent, and highly reduced.

  • As a result, eggs and spermatozoids are formed. A diploid zygote is the normal sporophyte formed with the fertilization of the spermatozoa and the egg.


Pteris - Classification

The scientific classification of Pteris is as follows:

Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Pteridophyta

Class: Polypodiopsida

Order: Polypodiales

Family: Pteridaceae

Genus: Pteris


Pteris - External Morphology

The underground stem is branched and perennial, rhizomatous, and surrounded by brown scales. A few of the species on their rhizomes have lasting leaf bases.

  • Leaves arise from the upper portion of the rhizome having an extended rachis. The Petiole base is sometimes covered with ramenta and some other times covered with brown scales.

  • Leaves are unipinnate compounds, microphyllous, arising in an acropetal pattern on the rhizome. The Bipinnate leaves, digitate and decompound leaves are also observed in some species.

  • Leaves that are developed are mentioned as fronds. The rachis comprises many sessile, coriaceous, lanceolate leaflets organized in pairs apart from the terminal leaflet.

  • The leaflets while reaching the apex eventually narrow down and they are broader towards the base. The leaflets that are found in the middle are large while other leaflets exhibit a gradual decline in size in the apical and basal sections of the rachis.

  • Leaflets are rough having a midrib, from here lateral veins project with a dichotomous sort of branching. It exhibits an open dichotomous venation. We can find a gradual rate of growth and the younger leaves exhibit circinate vernation.

Pteris - Anatomy

Pteris anatomy includes the following terms:

  • Rhizome: 

It is oval and when they are seen through the T.S section we can find cortex, epidermis, and stele.

  • Epidermis: 

It's covered with thick cuticles and is single-layered with quadrangular cells.

  • Cortex: 

It's differentiated into four-five layers of sclerenchymatous hypodermis and therefore the inner broad parenchymatous area. These regions possess leaf and root traces.

  • Stele: 

It varies between species. Meristems are found implanted in the ground tissue. Each of these meristele is a single-layered elliptical where the endodermis comprises Casparian strips inside their radial walls. One-two layered pericycles are found enclosing the phloem under the epidermis. The xylem is located to the meristele, exhibiting central protoxylem encircling either side of the metaxylem. It comprises the xylem parenchyma and tracheids. The Phloem on the opposite side has phloem parenchyma and sieve cells. It surrounds the xylem.


Pteris - Reproduction 

Reproduction in Pteris is by means of vegetative and asexual.

1. Asexual reproduction occurs through the formation of spores. As it produces one sort of spore only, it's homosporous.

2. Vegetative reproduction occurs by eventual death and decaying of the older sections of the rhizome. The branch and main axis get detached which grows as a new plant.


An Overview of the Pteris Plant.

Let us start understanding the Pteris plant, with a quick revision of the “Vascular Plants”. So, the Vascular plants are the land plants with the xylem, because it has lignified tissues, which conducts the water as well as minerals in the plant, and they are also known as “tracheophyte”. There are many groups of Vascular plants around the world, and one such group of Vascular plants are called “Fern Plants”. Fern plants are plants with rather complex leaves which are known as megaphylls. Fern plants do not have seeds, and neither do they have flowers; therefore, their reproduction is done by the spores.

Now that we have enough background revision, it is safe to go to the Pteris plant which is a genus of the fern plants, and there are about 300 species of it. Pterida specifically belongs to the Pteridaceae family of the Fern plants, which has about 400 plant species, and which itself belongs to the major family of fern plants called Pteridaceae.

Pteris are also known as ‘brake’ and are mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. While most of the Pteris has the segment of frod in a linear manner, some are found to have sub-palmate division. The layer found to be the outermost in the Pteris plant is the epidermis, and only has one single layer and does not have stomata. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin itself, and it provides the Pteris plants good protection against various kinds of infections, which can be caused by the environment specifically from environmental pathogens.

As said, there are many species of the Pteris around the globe, some of these species are used for cultivation as well. For instance, many of them are used as decorative houseplant, which is commonly regarded as table ferns. There is also one rather famous type of Pteris, which is called Pteris vittata, and it is famous among the cultivators because they can absorb a substantial amount of the arsenic from the soil, that is to say, Pteris Vittata has a capacity to hyper-accumulate, and it is also known by the name of “Brake Fern”.

By the way, if you wish to learn about the life cycle of the fern you may visit Vedantu.



Pteris is commonly known as the Chinese brake. Pteris grows in the wild. As it is very attractive it is also grown in gardens, on concrete structures and cracks, and on the buildings, it is also used in the pollution control schemes. It helps in the absorption of a highly toxic element called arsenic, and stores it in the fronds of it without drying out.


A complete explanation of the Pteris Plant, along with its life cycle, Classification, Anatomy and Reproduction are available at Vedantu.

Understanding the Pteris Plant is important for the NEET aspirant, as it is included in the syllabus. Therefore, in order to make the learning process of the students easy as well as fun, Vedantu provides the complete explanation of the Pteris plant, which is to say Vedantu explains the life cycle of the Pteris plant, its reproduction, along with the classification and anatomy of the same. The whole explanation of the Pteris plant is prepared by the expert educators and hence quality is guaranteed, and also Vedantu provides this complete explanation of the Pteris for free.

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