Magnolia virginiana Sweet BayMalus sylvestris or crab apple flowers.Two Bees on a Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvenseFrom 1736, an illustration of Linnaean classification.Auxanometer: devise for measuring increase or rate of growth in plants.
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Flower Plants & Seedlings

The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. The flowering plants and the gymnosperms comprise the two extant groups of seed plants. more...

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The flowering plants are distinguished from other seed plants by a series of apomorphies, or derived characteristics.

Angiosperm derived characteristics

  • Flowers

The flowers of flowering plants are the most remarkable feature distinguishing them from other seed plants. Flowers aided angiosperms by enabling a wider range of evolutionary relationships and broadening the ecological niches open to them, allowing flowering plants to eventually dominate terrestrial ecosystems.

  • Stamens with two pairs of pollen sacs

Stamens are much lighter than the corresponding organs of gymnosperms and have contributed to the diversification of angiosperms through time with adaptations to specialized pollination syndromes, such as particular pollinators. Stamens have also become modified through time to prevent self-fertilization, which has permitted further diversification, allowing angiosperms to eventually fill more niches.

  • Reduced male parts, three cells

The male gametophyte in angiosperms is significantly reduced in size compared to those of gymnosperm seed plants. The smaller pollen decreases the time from pollination – the pollen grain reaching the female plant – to fertilization of the ovary; in gymnosperms fertilization can occur up to a year after pollination, while in angiosperms the fertilization begins very soon after pollination. The shorter time leads to angiosperm plants setting seeds sooner and faster than gymnosperms, which is a distinct evolutionary advantage.

  • Closed carpel enclosing the ovules (carpel or carpels and accessory parts may become the fruit)

The closed carpel of angiosperms also allows adaptations to specialized pollination syndromes and controls to prevent self-fertilization, thereby maintaining increased diversity. Once the ovary is fertilized the carpel and some surrounding tissues develop into a fruit, another opportunity for angiosperms to increase their domination of the terrestrial ecosystem with evolutionary adaptations to dispersal mechanisms.

  • Reduced female gametophyte, seven cells with eight nuclei

The reduced female gametophyte, like the reduced male gametophyte may be adaptations allowing for more rapid seed set, eventually leading to such flowering plant adaptations as annual herbaceous life cycles, allowing the flowering plants to fill even more niches.

  • Endosperm

Endosperm formation generally begins after fertilization and before the first division of the zygote. Endosperm is a highly nutritive tissue that can provide food for the developing embryo, the cotyledons, and sometimes for the seedling when it first appears.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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See also...
Annuals, Flower Plants & Seedlings, Plants, Seeds & Bulbs, Gardening & Plants
Biennials, Flower Plants & Seedlings, Plants, Seeds & Bulbs, Gardening & Plants
Perennials, Flower Plants & Seedlings, Plants, Seeds & Bulbs, Gardening & Plants

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