Ferns are a representative clade in plant evolution although underestimated in the genomic era. Ceratopteris richardii is an emergent model for developmental processes in ferns, yet a complete scheme of the different growth stages is necessary. Here, we present a developmental analysis, at the tissue and cellular levels, of the first shoot-borne root of Ceratopteris. We followed early stages and emergence of the root meristem in sporelings. While assessing root growth, the first shoot-borne root ceases its elongation between the emergence of the fifth and sixth roots, suggesting Ceratopteris roots follow a determinate developmental program. We report cell division frequencies in the stem cell niche after detecting labeled nuclei in the root apical cell (RAC) and derivatives after 8 h of exposure. These results demonstrate the RAC has a continuous mitotic activity during root development. Detection of cell cycle activity in the RAC at early times suggests this cell acts as a non-quiescent organizing center. Overall, our results provide a framework to study root function and development in ferns and to better understand the evolutionary history of this organ.