Plants, Fungi, and more plants

Vascular Plants, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms, and Fungi


What is a gymnosperm? Gymnosperms include plants whose seeds are no enclosed in an ovule (like a pine cone). Gymnosperm means "naked seed".

Pictured is a pine cone, the representative image of a gymnosperm. During pollination, if the ovule is fertilized, a seed develops on the scales of the cone, the objects that shape the rough contour. The scale opens and the wind carries the seed away.

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So what is an angiosperm? An angiosperm is a plant that has flowers and produces seeds. Angiosperms include a very large group including herbaceous plants, shrubs, grasses, and most trees.

How do flowers work? Flowers are the reproductive parts of these angiosperms. The stamen is the male reproductive structure and produces pollen. The pollen contains cells that develop into sperm. The pistil is the female reproductive structure and contains the ovary. The ovary forms egg cells. Once the ovary is fertilized, the ovary develops into fruit. Petals surround the flower.

Pictured above is an angiosperm, not a gymnosperm.

What is a vascular plant?

A plant that contains two tissues: xylem and phloem. Xylem carries water up to the leaves while Phloem can carry water and nutrients both up and down the plant. They are all over a few centimeters tall (large).

Pictured below is a fern and to the right, a regular tree, both are vascular plants, they are more than a few centimeters tall and all trees are vascular.

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What is a non-vascular plant?

A non-vascular plant, as it is self-explanatory, does not contain xylem or phloem. It obtains water through capillary action, where water can climb up or down a tube due to pressure and size of the tube.

Pictured above is a moss, a type of non-vascular plant, these are usually smaller in length. The other two major types of non-vascular plants are liverworts and hornworts.

What about the fungi?

Most fungi reproduce sexually or asexually using spores. Spores grow on the underside of the cap in fleshy gills that look like lines extending from the center (pictured below). Some other fungi, such as yeast, reproduce asexually without spores by budding.
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