The plant world includes a great diversity of plants. From those that are best known to us because they fill the parks and gardens of our cities with color or those that are an indispensable part of our diet, to those other plants that are great unknown because we have only seen them in documentaries from exotic and distant places.
Without a doubt, delving into the knowledge of flora is one of the most surprising discoveries that nature gives us. To do this, knowing some basic information about its classification and characteristics will be very useful and allows us to differentiate the different groups and classes of plants that surround us. In this way, one of the first steps to follow in the knowledge of flora is the distinction between flowering plants.(angiosperms) or plants without flowers (gymnosperms). Their names come from the Greek, where the prefix Gimnos refers to the naked and unprotected, as is the case with these plants, in which the plant reproductive organs and the seeds appear naked, without floral envelopes to protect them or the formation of fruits. On the other hand, in those that belong to the group of angiosperms, the opposite happens, stamens, pistils and other plant reproductive structures are part of wonderful flowers that, later, will give rise to fruits.
Keep reading this AgroCorrn article to discover more about angiosperm plants, what they are, their characteristics and examples .
- What are Angiosperm Plants
- Characteristics of angiosperm plants
- Examples of angiosperm plants
- Difference between angiosperm and gymnosperm plants
What are Angiosperm Plants
Angiosperm plants, commonly known as flowering plants , are vascular plants with seeds (spermatophytes) that constitute a truly diverse group full of surprising characteristics in terms of the shape and color of their flowers.
This fact is mainly due to the close relationship that flowering plants have with their pollinators . Whether they are insects, small mammals or natural phenomena such as the wind, angiosperms have had to develop a whole series of strategies so that pollinators are attracted to their flowers, reach the pollen and are later in charge of transporting it to the organs reproducers found in other flowers of the same plant species, thus achieving the process of plant reproduction .
Characteristics of angiosperm plants
Angiosperm plants evolved and diversified in an amazing way. The fossil record collects data on the appearance of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period, approximately 130 million years ago.
Among the main characteristics of angiosperm plants are:
- They inhabit practically all regions of the world (although with a lesser presence in the polar regions), surviving both in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
- We can find angiosperm plants of different sizes and structures (shrubs or herbs ).
- They are made up of well differentiated vegetative organs: root, stem and leaves.
- Its flowers are very showy. They have sepals, tepals, carpels, and female reproductive organs (ovary with ovules located inside the pistil, which has the style and stigma in its structure), as well as male reproductive organs (stamens with pollen grains). You may also be interested in learning more about this topic with this other AgroCorrn article about What are the parts of a flower and their functions .
Now that we know its main characteristics, let’s go on to discover some examples of angiosperm plants in the next section.
Examples of angiosperm plants
As we already know, all flowering plants that inhabit any corner of the planet belong to the group of angiosperms. If we focus, to put some examples of angiosperm plants , in those that constitute important sources of food for human beings at a global level, some cereals and fruit trees stand out such as:
- Wheat (genus Triticum)
- Corn ( Zea mays )
- Rice ( Oryza sativa )
- Sugar (genus Saccharum)
- Coffee (genus Coffea)
- Orange trees (genus Citrus)
- Apple trees (genus Malus)
- Bananas (genus Musa)
- Avocados ( Persea americana )
Difference between angiosperm and gymnosperm plants
The group of angiosperms surpasses that of gymnosperms both in number and diversity, appearing as the group of plants whose evolution has been most successful in nature. Other major differences between angiosperm plants and gymnosperms are:
- The formation of flowers and fruits that surround the seeds in angiosperms, compared to the bare seeds of gymnosperms.
- Gymnosperms have cones, ramifications of limited growth that are often considered flowers, while angiosperms have showy flowers of different shapes and colors.
- In gymnosperm plants, the gametes involved in the plant reproduction process, that is, the ovules (female) and the pollen grains (male), are always separated into different cones (female and male cones, respectively). On the other hand, in angiosperm plants we can find flowers with ovules in the pistil and pollen in the stamens of the same flower, or exclusively male and / or female flowers on the same plant.
- A characteristic common to almost all gymnosperms is that the leaves are needle-shaped, pointed, or needle-shaped; while the leaves of angiosperms tend to be flat and more rounded (although with a great variety of shapes).
- Seasonality is different between these two large groups. Angiosperm plants are usually seasonal plants, deciduous in fall and winter, while gymnosperm plants tend to be perennial and do not shed their leaves during cold months.
If you want to read more articles similar to Angiosperm plants: what they are, characteristics and examples , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .
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