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9.6: Plant Classification

  • Page ID
    6637
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    f-d:cbf7374bccd51d078cd83341a1ffbfd0ed87531ce6e08e2d301a3703 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    How do you know which group one particular plant belongs to?

    So many different types of plants. Does the plant have roots? Or flowers? Or just seeds? Or roots and stems but not seeds? These are all characteristics used to classify plants. How many different types of plants do you see in this Japanese garden?

    Classification of Plants

    The scientific classification of modern land plants is under constant revision. Informally, land plants can be classified into the groups listed in Table below. Major divisions and types of modern land plants are organized in this table. Why do the first five types of plants require a moist habitat?

    The most basic division is between nonvascular plants and vascular plants. Vascular plants are further divided into those that reproduce without seeds and those that reproduce with seeds. Seed plants, in turn, are divided into those that produce seeds in cones and those that produce seeds in the ovaries of flowers. Seed plants are called gymnosperms. Seed plants called angiosperms produce seeds in the ovaries of flowers.

    Major Division Types of Plants No. of Living Species Description
    Nonvascular Plants
    f-d:720ba240e20df0ef9cf0d6b98b3b35fd97399c6778548c05ad0eb162 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Liverworts 7,000
    f-d:8c9341f640cc75de0ce5240476cbdc80e0a6a2d59dfebdcd8a1949bd IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Hornworts 150
    f-d:19ed1d153cea23b059c8fbd1af06576523bbed144ac4107b85f1d986 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Mosses 10,000 They lack leaves and roots. They have no stems, so they grow low to the ground. They reproduce with spores. They need a moist habitat.
    Vascular Plants
    f-d:869f84e2f2a849557ce2404d2e8429d1b537cf04fc27e174d2399c60 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Clubmosses 1,200 They have roots and tiny leaves. They have no stems, so they grow low to the ground. They reproduce with spores. They need a moist habitat.
    f-d:08f93698cfd9fd305413b01f5873352c712988a73c0d353272f11d59 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Ferns 11,000 They have large leaves in fronds. They have stiff stems, so they are tall growing; some are trees. They reproduce with spores. They need a moist habitat.
    f-d:a449b8022673e59351c94a2e9faa26087221c6805e8ed210c98bc658 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Ginkgoes 1
    f-d:5906335f896d6ace8ddc7e0636e2dce4d508d53bb1f6a73621a12805 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Cycads 160
    f-d:c5f6c983e8547024a8e27643c0d82ef53d541dd98da65853734ab7aa IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Conifers 700
    f-d:ebaff18329691c9c50f8efd29c9f688bec2a53f36212c05c31a97102 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Gnetae 70 Most are trees with wood trunks. They have adaptations to dryness such as needle-like leaves. They reproduce with seeds and pollen. They produce seeds in cones.
    f-d:f086e3cd4f5b695f076b4d153e5e0a6befd14eb8beba7cf42c1122c0 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1 Flowering Plants 258,650 They have tremendous diversity in size, shape, and other characteristics. They reproduce with seeds and pollen. They produce seeds in the ovaries of flowers. Ovaries may develop into fruits, which enhance seed dispersal.

    Summary

    The most basic division of living plants is between nonvascular and vascular plants.

    • Vascular plants are further divided into seedless and seed plants.
    • Seed plants called gymnosperms produce seeds in cones.
    • Seed plants called angiosperms produce seeds in the ovaries of flowers.

    Review

    1. Compare the different types of plants in the Table above. Which type of plants would you say is most successful? Support your answer with data from the table.

    9.6: Plant Classification is shared under a CK-12 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by CK-12 Foundation via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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