Definition of fern
: any of a division (Filicophyta) or class (Filicopsida) of flowerless spore-producing vascular plants having alternating sporophyte and gametophyte generations; especially : any of an order (Filicales) of homosporous plants possessing roots, stems, and leaflike fronds — compare seed fern
fernlikeplay \ˈfərn-ˌlīk\ adjective
fernyplay \ˈfər-nē\ adjective
Recent Examples of fern from the Web
The Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio, along with Geauga Park District are presenting a fern workshop 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 17 at The West Woods Nature Center.
But in the third population, some 70 miles away, the frogs all seemed to prefer hanging out in shrubs and on ferns several inches above the ground—and roughly 90 feet from the nearest waterway.
Some that prefer just shade include bromeliads, ferns, ivy, lilyturf and wandering Jew.
Every table has a water view surrounded by lush foliage, giant ferns and potted palms.
Plants especially susceptible to fasciation include ferns, willow trees, delphiniums, foxgloves, forsythia, euphorbias, lilies, primulas and verbascums such as the mullein.
Sedges and ferns are popular choices; gardeners can add a mix of perennials and shrubs.
Flowering native shrubs pressed in from all sides and a stone Buddha and birdbath peeked out from among the ferns and boulders.
The slope is retained by logs; rocks; steps; and plantings of ornamental grasses and ground covers like ferns, cyclamen, hepaticas and native trillium.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fern'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of fern
Middle English, from Old English fearn; akin to Old High German farn fern, Sanskrit parṇa wing, leaf
First Known Use: before 12th century
FERN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fern for English Language Learners
: a type of plant that has large, delicate leaves and no flowers
FERN Defined for Kids
Definition of fern for Students
: a plant that produces spores instead of seeds and no flowers and whose leaves are usually divided into many parts
Seen and Heard
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