Plant cell walls are essential for most aspects of plant growth, development, and survival, including cell division, expansive cell growth, cell-cell communication, biomechanical properties, and stress responses. Therefore, characterizing cell wall diversity contributes to our overall understanding of plant evolution and development. Recent biochemical analyses, concomitantly with whole genome sequencing of plants located at pivotal points in plant phylogeny, have helped distinguish between homologous characters and those which might be more derived. Most plant lineages now have at least one fully sequenced representative and although genome sequences for fern species are in progress they are not yet available for this group. Ferns offer key advantages for the study of developmental processes leading to vascularisation and complex organs as well as the specific differences between diploid sporophyte tissues and haploid gametophyte tissues and the interplay between them. Ceratopteris richardii has been well investigated building a body of knowledge which combined with the genomic and biochemical information available for other plants will progress our understanding of wall diversity and its impact on evolution and development.