Ferns of the genera referred to Marattiaceae are common, but arborescent stems of the Psaronius type are still comparatively rare.
The roots were at first like those of Marattiaceae but grew in thickness like the roots of Gymnosperms.
Although doubts have lately been cast on the authenticity of Palaeozoic Marattiaceae owing to the difficulty in distinguishing between their fructifications and the pollenbearing organs of Pteridosperms, the anatomical evidence (stem of Psaronius) strongly confirms the opinion that a considerable group of these Ferns existed.
In Ceratozamia the broad petiole-base is characterized by the presence of two lateral spinous processes, suggesting stipular appendages, comparable, on a reduced scale, with the large stipules of the Marattiaceae among Ferns.
In a certain number of genera the reference to Marattiaceae is much more doubtful.
On the whole there is thus good evidence for the frequency of Marattiaceae in the Palaeozoic period, though the possibility that the fructifications may really represent the microsporangia of fern-like spermophytes must always be borne in mind.
The Marattiaceae are the only recent family of Ferns which can be supposed to have existed in anything like its present form in Palaeozoic times.
Numerous more or less isolated fern-sporangia occur in the petrified material of the Carboniferous formation; the presence of an annulus is a frequent character among these specimens, while synangic sori are rare; it is thus certain that families remote from the Marattiaceae were abundantly represented during this period.