Having described both angiosperms and gymnosperms, it would be interesting to now compare the two. The following table lists characteristics of each for purposes of comparison.
Seeds are enclosed in a fruit. The dominant plants of the Earth, encompassing more than 250,000 species. Occupy both land and water. Of more recent evolutionary origin.
Encompass both woody and herbaceous forms.
Leaves are mostly broad and flat. Have flowers.
Possess mostly fibrous roots.
Have both tracheids and vessels in the xylem.
Exhibit deliquescent branching. Many species have both microsporangia and megasporangia in the same flower. Divided into monocots and dicots.
Seeds are naked.
Encompass approximately 750 species.
Are land dwelling only.
Of more ancient origin.
Encompass only woody forms.
Leaves are mostly needle-like. Have strobili or cones. Archegonia are present. Taproots predominate. Have tracheids only.
Exhibit excurrent branching. Microsporangia and megasporangia are always separate. Polycotyledonous.
Table 28-1 A Comparison of Angiosperms and Gymnosperms.
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