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Fern ally

Fern ally is a general term covering a somewhat diverse group of vascular plants that are not flowering plants and not true ferns. Like ferns, these plants reproduce by shedding spores to initiate an alternation of generations. There are four main groups of plants considered to be fern allies. In various classification schemes, these may be grouped as classes or divisions within the plant kingdom. The more traditional classification scheme is as follows:

A newer classification scheme is:

Many botanists may regard the three classes of the Archeophyta as divisions in and of themselves. The ophioglossoids (Ophioglossopsida) were once thought to be ferns, but are now known to be distinct due to genetic studies.

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