Fern Flashback: The History of Ferns

There are very few things in this world that have been around for more than 350 million years. But the fern is one of them.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, scientists believe ferns date all the way back to the late Devonian Period, which ended about 359 million years ago, and the beginning of the Carboniferous Period that started at around the same time. To put ferns’ longevity into perspective, dinosaurs first started roaming the Earth during the Mesozoic Era that ran from about 230 million years ago through 65 million years ago, which means that ferns predated dinosaurs by more than 100 million years and are still going strong today!

Although ferns have been around for many years, many of the current families and species of ferns didn’t first start showing up until the Cretaceous Period that started 145 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago. Since then, ferns have actually not evolved all that much, but they have spawned many different species. Scientists are unsure exactly how many species exist, since there are many types that are yet to be studied extensively in places like the rainforest, but there it is believed there are more than 10,000 species out there.

Over the years, people have found many different purposes for ferns. While they have not played a vital role in the global economy at any point in the history of humans, they have been used to make food and medicine in some cultures, and many people still today choose fern plants as decoration. They have also been used in the worlds of mythology and art, and through photosynthesis they help remove some pollutants from the air.

Ferns are built to last, and while they are especially abundant in warm, wet places like rain forests, they have been known to grow in all parts of the world – including your backyard. At Cold Stream Farm, we appreciate the rich history of ferns and carry a large selection of them for those people who want to use them to decorate their yards or homes. Whether you’d like to incorporate multiple fern species into a landscaping project or just want a single fern for your home, we can accommodate your needs and help you fall in love with ferns, too. Reach out to us at 231-464-5809 to learn more about the ferns we have in stock or place your order online today.