When new individuals of species which possess a protocorm arise vegetatively from the leaves or roots of young plants, the protocorm appears in the young sporophyte.
While a number of ferns can be multiplied vegetatively, by buds formed on the leaves and in other ways, the regular mode of propagation is by sowing the spores shed from the ripe sporangia.
In the former the prothallus produces one or more fern-plants vegetatively, the projection which develops into the sporophyte in many cases occupying the position of an archegonium.
In apospory the converse phenomenon is seen, the gametophyte springing vegetatively from the sporangium, receptacle of the sorus, or leaf-margin of the fern-plant.
Individual canes grow vegetatively for one year, initiate flower buds in late summer, fruit the following summer, then die.