The analysis of expressed sequences from a diverse set of plant species has fueled the increase in understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms underlying plant growth regulation. While representative data sets can be found for the major branches of plant evolution, fern species data are lacking. To further the availability of genetic information in pteridophytes, a normalized cDNA library of Adiantum capillus-veneris was constructed from prothallia grown under white light. A total of 10,420 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were obtained and clustering of these sequences resulted in 7,100 nonredundant clusters. Of these, 1,608 EST clusters were found to be similar to sequences of known function and 1,092 EST clusters showed similarity to sequences of unknown function. Given the usefulness of Adiantum for developmental studies, the sequence data represented in this report stand to make a significant contribution to the understanding of plant growth regulation, particularly for pteridophytes.