All plant are divided into two main categories: Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. Today I will explain what each of those groups are and the differences between them.

Gymnosperms simply mean “naked seed”. This just means that the seeds of these types of plants are not protectively covered in any way. A common example of a gymnosperm is a conifer (or pine tree). The seeds of this tree are attached to the pinecones on the small “scales” and are out in the open where everyone can see. gymno-1The definition of an Angiosperm is flowering plant. These plants grow flowers and blooms and their seeds are enclosed within an ovary, like a fruit. Angiosperms consist of 80% of the known plant species and are probably what you most commonly think of when think of plants. Roses, Tulips, Maples etc. are all angiosperms.

There are differences in their life cycles as well. Angiosperms usually possess both male and female gametes inside of them and are either unisexual or bisexual. In Gymnosperms, the gametes are found in the cone and one type of cone possesses the pollen and the other the unfertilized egg. Thus, Gymnosperms are unisexual. Gymnosperms rely primarily on the wind to disperse their seeds, while Angiosperms rely mostly on animals.

There are many differences between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms, but all of them are just as important in the role they play in keeping our earth balanced.


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