The prothallus and sexual organs may resemble those of the Polypodiaceae; in Aneimia and Mohria the prothallus, though flattened, is not bilaterally symmetrical, the growing point being on one side; a filamentous type of prothallus is known in Schizaea.
The prothalli, while resembling those of the Polypodiaceae, have points of similarity with those of the preceding groups.
The dehiscence of the sporangium is almost transverse, as in the Polypodiaceae, but the annulus is slightly oblique.
A consideration of the Filicaceae as arranged above will show that the several sub-orders may in general terms be said to form a series between those in which the sorus consists of a single circle of bulky sporangia and those Polypodiaceae in which the numerous small sporangia appear to be grouped without order in the sorus.
When the survey is extended to the extinct Ferns of which the fructification is known, many of those from the more ancient rocks are found to group themselves with the existing sub-orders with large sporangia, such as the Marattiaceae, Gleicheniaceae and Schizaeaceae; the Polypodiaceae, on the other hand, do not appear until much later.