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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Licorice Fern Sporangium Under the Microscope

Licorice Fern Sporangium

Transmitted Oblique Off Circular Polarized Light Illumination


The sporangium is the capsule in which the fern spores mature and the mechanism that then disperses them into the air. The two ends of the sporangium form the "bag" in which the spores mature. The sporangium is attached to the underside of the fern leaflet by the fibrous sporangiophore. When the spores are mature the sporangium releases the spores forcefully by snaping open.

Licorice Fern, Polypodium glycyrrhiza, is found in the Northwest forests of North America and inland along some river valleys. It is often found growing on the moss covered bark side of maple trees.

Significance in the Environment

The spores and sporangia are released in the Spring.

Characteristic Features

Associated Particles

Click here for images of over 15,000 pollens and spores.

Mickel, John T., 1979. HOW TO KNOW THE FERNS AND FERN ALLIES, Dubuque, Iowa. Wm. C. Brown.