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Ferns are vascular plants that use spores for reproduction.
Scientific classification distinguishes between "true ferns" and several closely related types of plants known as "fern allies". The corresponding divisions in the plant kingdom are:
- Pteridophyta - "true ferns"
- Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses, spikemosses and quillworts
- Equisetophyta - horsetails and scouring-rushes
- Psilotophyta - whisk ferns
- Ophioglossophyta - adders-tongues and moonworts