Plants are classified into two groups: seed plants and nonseed plants. Unlike seed plants, nonseed plants reproduce without seeds because they produce spores. Spores are single cells that grow into another plant. Nonseed plants include algae, moss and ferns.
Ebony spleenwort is a delicate, small fern that resembles a Christmas fern. It gets its name from its ebony-colored stem. These plants can ordinarily be found in mountainous regions, and they carry their spores on the undersides of their fernlike fronds.
The walking fern is an unorthodox fern in that its leaves are not frondlike at all. They resemble long, thick blades of grass that bend down and grow back into the ground. This is how they reproduce, because their spores are transferred from their fronds to the ground.
Commonly known as juniper polytrichum moss, this nonseed plant can be found in moist coniferous forests and humus soils. It's identified by its low-lying position and its bluish-green foliage. The small red flowers of this plant produce the spores.
The cutleaf grapefern is a dainty and wispy nonseed plant that grows in shaded and moist areas of mountainous regions. Its color ranges from bronze to blue-green, and its delicate spores are carried on the underside of its fronds, like with most fern plants.
The horsetail plant resembles a cross between bamboo and grass in that it produces thick, green, reed-like stalks from moist riverbeds and ponds. This nonseed plant features a large, brown-and-black speckled spore atop its thick stalk.
The Christmas fern is commonly found in home gardens throughout the world, where they thrive in cooler seasons and produce berrylike spores of red and green. The spores are affixed to the topmost fronds of the fern, giving it a festive appearance that lends to its name.
Fan Club Moss
Fan club moss is a common form of club moss, and it is found primarily in wetlands and humus-rich soils. It is identified by its short, broad, green stalks and beige-colored brush-like spores that sit atop the stems.