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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Fern


FERN, noun

A plant of several species constituting the tribe or family of Filices, which have their fructification on the back of the fronds or leaves, or in which the flowers are borne on footstalks which overtop the leaves. The stem is the common footstalk or rather the middle rib of the leaves, so that most ferns want the stem altogether. The ferns constitute the first order of cryptogams, in the sexual system.