Seedless plants are one of the most archaic forms of life on our planet. Still, despite having existed since practically the beginning of life on Earth, many of their species have become extinct today, but many others still exist in the U.S. Some are well known, such as ferns, which are found in many parts of the world in nature and homes, but there is more variety.
If you still don’t know them well and want to discover them, join us in this AgroCorrn article to learn a little more about seedless plants, their characteristics, and easy examples.
- Characteristics of seedless plants
- Non-vascular seedless plants: examples of bryophyte plants
- Seedless vascular plants: examples of pteridophyte plants
Seedless plants characteristics
Unlike angiosperms and gymnosperms, seedless plants do not produce, as their name suggests, seeds of any kind, and therefore do not have flowers or fruits. Their wide propagation also characterizes seedless plants due to their reproduction system, which we detail below. A waterproof cuticle makes them more resistant to sudden changes in the environmental climate. For this reason, even though most seedless plants require humid environments to thrive, they are very resistant to droughts or areas with high-intensity insolation.
Due to all these characteristics, they are usually the first vegetation to colonize arid areas or eradicate the vegetation.
How seedless plants reproduce?
This type of plant has two forms of reproduction: sexual reproduction by spores and asexual reproduction by fragmentation.
Plants that reproduce by spores store the so-called spores in cavities or sacks under their leaves called sporangia, which keep them there until fertilized. They are released so that external agents, such as air and water, transport them to new destinations. This type of reproduction has several advantages. It consumes very little energy, and that the spores are not as susceptible to animal predation as the seeds since they have hardly any nutrients. In contrast, spores are more easily attacked by bacteria and fungi.
Reproduction by fragmentation occurs when a plant in contact with waterways detaches itself from a portion or fragment of itself so that it is taken to a new area to fixate and grow.
Non-vascular seedless plants: examples of bryophyte plants
Bryophyte plants are non-vascular seedless plants, which are divided into mosses, hornworts, and liverworts. They are small plants, rarely reaching up to 20 cm heights, and they always grow in humid places. They do not have stems, leaves, or roots themselves. Some bryophyte plants or non-seedless plants are:
- Sphagnum: these mosses, commonly called peat mosses, can retain large amounts of water, which is why they are widely used in gardening to provide water balance.
- Polytrichum: the so-called hair moss gets its name from the hairs that cover it, thus giving it the appearance of a lush and dense carpet.
- Grimmia pulvinata: This moss produces shades of shades between green and gray and inhabits limestone rocks or walls and ceilings. It is the most common to see in cement.
- Anthoceros agrestis the so-called horn flower or field horn.
- Leiosporoceros dussii is the only species of its genus, and male specimens have not yet been found.
- Ricciocarpus natans: This liverwort is of the aquatic type and can be found in North and South America, as well as Europe, Japan, and southern Australia.
- Conocephalum conicum: Also called snake-skin liverwort or mushroom-head liverwort.
- Mannia rupestris: of the genus Mannia, comprising 13 accepted species.
Seedless vascular plants: examples of pteridophyte plants
The seedless vascular plants or pteridophytes plants have vascular tissue responsible for transporting water and nutrients inside the plant. Thanks to this tissue, vascular plants have been able to develop too much larger sizes. Although, as with seedless plants in general, most of them have already become extinct, we can still find some vascular seedless plants examples.
- Lycophytes are very similar to mosses, but they have vascular tissue. The resurrection plant is its most common example, which dries up but recovers after receiving water up to 14 years later.
- Ferns are the most common to see today, and they stand out for their striking and large fronds and their characteristic violin heads, which give rise to the former. They are typical of tropical jungles. In this other article, we explain more about that Ferns are plants without flowers or seeds.
- Horsetails have hollow stems like reeds and are easy to find in swampy areas. Some of its varieties are Equisetum arvense serotinum and Equisetum arvense nemorosum.
- Psilotum forms green stems that branch devoid of leaves and yellow sporangia, giving an appearance similar to that of a broom brush. Its two species are the Psilotum complanatum and the Psilotum nudum.
Please find out more about them in this other article about Pteridophyte Plants: what they are, types and examples.
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