Fork fern sporophytes
lack true roots
, but have creeping subterranean rhizomes
. They also lack true leaves
but have a green photosynthetic stem
with scale-like leaves that lack vascular tissue.
Psilotaceae are represented in New Zealand by two genera, Psilotum (1 of) and Tmesipteris (4 of). Tmesipteris normally grow, as epiphytes
on tree ferns, but are occasionally terrestrial
, while Psilotum prefers warm ground and is common in thermal areas.