Ferns are not as important economically as seed plants but,still have considerable importance in the USA.
1 )Some ferns are used for food, including the fiddleheads of bracken, Pteridium aquilinum, ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, and cinnamon fern, Osmunda cinnamomea.
2 )Diplazium esculentum is also used by some tropical peoples as food.
3 )Ferns of the genus Azolla are very small, floating plants that do not look like ferns.
Called mosquito fern, they are used as a biological fertilizer in the rice paddies of southeast Asia, taking advantage of their ability to fix nitrogen from the air into compounds that can then be used by other plants.
4 )A great many ferns are grown in horticulture as landscape plants, for cut foliage and as houseplants, especially the Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata).
5 )The birds-nest fern, Asplenium nidus, is also popular, and the staghorn ferns, genus Platycerium, have a considerable following.
6 )Several ferns are noxious weeds or invasive species, including Japanese climbing fern (Lygodium japonicum), mosquito fern and sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis).
7 )Giant water fern (Salvinia molesta) is one of the world's worst aquatic weeds.
8 )The important fossil fuel coal consists of the remains of primitive plants, including ferns.
Other ferns with some economic significance include:
9 )Dryopteris filix-mas (male fern), used as a vermifuge, and formerly in the US Pharmacopeia; also, this fern accidentally sprouting in a bottle resulted in Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward's 1829 invention of the terrarium or Wardian case .
10 )Rumohra adiantoides (floral fern), extensively used in the florist trade .
11)Osmunda regalis (royal fern) and Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern), the root fiber being used horticulturally; the fiddleheads of O. cinnamomea are also used as a cooked vegetable.
12)Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern), the fiddleheads used as a cooked vegetable in North America .
13)Pteridium aquilinum (bracken), the fiddleheads used as a cooked vegetable in Japan and are believed to be responsible for the high rate of stomach cancer in Japan.
It is also one of the world's most important agricultural weeds, especially in the British highlands, and often poisons cattle and horses.
14 )Diplazium esculentum (vegetable fern), a source of food for some native societies
Pteris vittata (brake fern), used to absorb arsenic from the soil .
15 )Polypodium glycyrrhiza (licorice fern), roots chewed for their pleasant flavor.
16 )Tree ferns, used as building material in some tropical areas
17 )Cyathea cooperi (Australian tree fern), an important invasive species in Hawaii .
18 )Ceratopteris richardii, a model plant for teaching and research, often called C-fern .
The above is a short list of positive as well as negative importance of ferns.
· 1 decade ago