Ferns are an ancient type of plant which are older than the dinosaurs! Ferns are luscious, leafy plants, most of which love moist areas under the canopy of trees. There are some, however, that can thrive in dry shade, but most enjoy sheltered sites with plenty of water. You can often find them growing wild along shady river banks – you rarely see them in hot, dry areas.
Ferns have well-developed ‘vascular’ systems with internal channels that allow a free-flow of water and nutrients. They reproduce from spores rather than seed and therefore don’t need to have flowers. They are loved for their wonderful leaves, or fronds, which vary from species to species enormously.
A very useful – and somewhat underused - family of plants for shady, damp places where little else will thrive. You can read more about them here.