Taxonomic Documentation of Pteridophytes of Pananchery Panchayath (Thrissur District), with Special Reference to Stem/Stipe Anatomy

Pteridophytes, one of the oldest plant groups, are a fascinating member among the plant kingdom. It occupies an intermediate position in between lower and higher plant groups, because of the presence of vascular elements and reproduction through spores. Pteridophytes have got a wide range of economic and ecological importance, but enough attention has not been paid towards their useful aspects. This is an attempt to document the pteridophytes of Pananchery Panchayath, Thrissur District with a detailed taxonomic account. The morphological and stem/stipe anatomical characters of the collected plants were studied. Repeated collection was done for a period of five months (January – May, 2016) in the study area, both in its vegetative and reproductive stages. The present study revealed the occurrence of 18 species of pteridophytes belonging to 15 genera comes under 13 families. Out of them, 1 species belongs to the class Lycopsida and the remaining 17 species represent Filicopsida. Out of the 18 species, 13 species (72%) are terrestrial, 4 species (22%) are aquatic and 1 species (6%) is epiphytic. The anatomical features show varied characters in the distribution of ground tissue and vascular elements.

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