Also called the whisk ferns, these are the simplest of the vascular plants. The division of consists of two genera, Psilotum and Tmesipteris. As with angiosperms, plants of the Psilotophyta have vascular tissue (xylem and phloem), however, they are characterised by the lack of roots, and sometimes the lack of leaves. The plants consist of a small, underground, gametophyte, which lacks chlorophyll and has associations with mycorrhizal fungi. The have a life cycle similar to that of ferns, with motile sperm and a self-sustaining, photosynthetic sporophyte.
Related categories 1
Classification of Psilotophyta
Main entry in Systema Naturae 2000.
Illustrated introduction to the five species of Psilotaceae found in New Zealand.
Introduction to the Psilotales
Includes descriptions of morphology and life history.
Division/family description and thumbnail links to images of two species of Psilotum from Hawaii.
Last update:March 24, 2016 at 14:05:03 UTC