What Are Spore-Producing Plants?

Spore-producing plants include ferns, mushrooms, liverworts, hornworts and mosses. Other plants that produce spores are rusts, smuts, earthstars, stinkhorns and horsetails. Spores are reproductive bodies that can be sexual or asexual.

Ferns are prized for their beauty and are often shade-loving garden plants. They have leaves that slowly uncoil and tiny spores that form within sporangia. These sporangia are grouped into sori that can be seen on the underside of the leaflets. Sori can also be found on the fertile spike of some ferns or in the sacs of water fern.

Mushrooms are the fruiting body of sometimes vast underground plants. Most mushrooms are basidiomycetes which means they produce a basidium, a body that produces spores. The spores and basidia can be found in many mushrooms in gills on the underside of the cap.

Mosses are found from the Arctic region to the tropics and are found in soil, rocks or on tree barks. Some are aquatic. They grow from spores found in capsules and have a complex life cycle. Liverworts are related to mosses and are often found with them. Hornworts resemble liverworts but are more advanced. Their spores are found in spike-like capsules. They are most often found in damp, humid places.