Posted on by ALEX THORNBLASTER

 Angiosperms & Gymnosperms

By Alex Thornton

Angiosperms & gymnosperms are the two major groups of seed plants shown by the suffix sperm which means “seed” in Latin. Gymnosperms first appeared on earth 359-299 million years ago & ruled the landscape during the Mesozoic era 251-65 million years ago, by the end of this era angiosperms had taken over & still remain the most successful plant group.

There are around 1,000 species of gymnosperms ordered into 4 divisions: Coniferophyta, Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, and Gnetophyta. Plants in the Gnetophyta division are most firmly identified with angiosperms since they have xylem tissue. The Latin prefix gymnos signifies "exposed" and alludes to the seeds of the plants which are not encased in a natural product like angiosperm seeds are.

Angiosperms number more than 260,000 species, second to insects as far as their diversity. The species are separated into monocotyledons (monocots) that have a solitary cotyledon and dicotyledons (dicots) that contain two cotyledons. Monocots and dicots are distinguished, in addition to other things by taking a look at their leaves. Monocots have parallel veins in their leaves while the veins in dicot leaves are more branched. Their root systems are also unique. Monocots have a network root system and dicots have a fundamental taproot with lateral roots leaving it.                                                           

Angiosperms

Gymnosperms

Seeds

Yes, usually enclosed in an ovary (fruit)

Yes, not enclosed, usually found on cones, scales, or leaves

Leaves

Flat

Needle or scale like

Has Flowers?

Yes

No

Reproductive System

In the flowers, unisexual or bisexual

Unisexual system in the cones

Type of Wood

Hardwood

Softwood

Uses

Food, medicines, clothing

Lumber, paper

Ploidy (number of sets of chromosomes)

Triploid

Haploid

Perennial?

No

Yes

Life Cycle

Seasonal, plant dies in autumn

Evergreen

Pollination Mechanism

Mostly by animals

Mostly by the wind

 

In conclusion gymnosperms are just as important as angiosperms in our daily lives, angiosperms may make up the majority of plants but gymnosperms are essential for the construction of our homes, the paper we write on and much more. Majority of plants we grow at home as gardeners will be angiosperms but rarely we may grow gymnosperms.