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Pteridophyte fern and allied plants; an assemblage of seedless vascular cryptogamic (non-flowering) plants evolved as land plant and reproduce by means of spores. Phylogenetically, the group exhibits a transition between flowering and nonflowering plants. The present day pteridophytes are mostly herbaceous plants distributed mostly to tropical and subtropical regions. The number of species is about 12,500, ferns (c. 11,000 spp.). About 900 species of pteridophytes grow in the subcontinent of which about 50% are endemic. Bangladesh has as many as 250 species of pteridophytes, of which 230 are ferns that grow either as epiphytes, mesophytes, lithophytes or hydrophytes. [Mostafa Kamal Pasha]

See also epiphyte; fern.