Flowering Plants: Structure and Characteristics


Flowering Plants: Structure and Characteristics

Flowering plants are also called spermatophyta or spermatophytes. They are members of the seed-producing vascular plants. They have well-developed roots, stems and leaves. 

The seeds containing the embryo develop from a fertilized egg of a very small gametophyte which is completely dependent on the sporophyte, the plant form that we see around us.

The efficient seed dispersal of seed plants account for their continued existence and widespread occurrence. The fertilization of the egg is by the male gamete which is brought about by the pollination, followed by the growth of the pollen tube which carries the male gamete to the egg. Water is not needed in this process.

Hence, the seed plants are true land plants. This is an advance over nonvascular plants and ferns which need water for fertilization. The seed plants are divided into gymnosperms and angiosperms.

In this article, you should be able to describe the structure of a typical flowering plant, list at least six characteristics of flowering plants and list at least five differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms.


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Structure of a typical Flowering Plant

Structure of a typical Flowering Plant

A typical flowering plant consists of a shoot system and a root system.

The roots, stems and leaves are the growing or vegetative part of the plant. The flowers which give rise to fruits and seeds are the reproductive part of the plant. Plants have three main tissue systems that run throughout their roots, stems, leaves and flowers.

These are:

1. Dermal tissue system or epidermis

2. Vascular tissue system of conducting cells (xylem and phloem) to transport food, water and minerals throughout the plant.

3. Ground tissue system which consists of all the tissues other than the epidermal and vascular tissues.


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Characteristics of Flowering Plants

Do you remember that living things have features that are peculiar to them? Flowering plants to have their own.

1. The plant body is well organized and highly differentiated into special parts and they perform particular functions.

2. There is a distinct division into root, stem, branches, leaves and flowers. The roots from the root. system, while the stem and other parts form the shoot system. 

The conducting tissues consist of xylem and phloem making up the vascular system; these plants are also called tracheophyta or vascular plants. 

3. The flowers are developed for reproduction

4. Pollen grains form 'pollen' tubes, which carry male gametes.

5. Fusion of male and female gametes occurs in the ovary giving rise to the embryosac those later forms the seed.

6. The seed is the new sporophyte. It depends on the parent plants.

7. The seed contain the embryo.

8. The embryo develops from a fertilized egg of a very small gametophyte which is completely depemb on the sporophyte, the plant that we see around us.

9. The fertilization of the egg by the male gamete is brought about by pollination, followed by the growth of the pollen tube which carries the male gamete to the egg. Vista is not needed in this process. 

0. Seeds are formed enclosed in the carpels which become the fruits.

11. Both fruits and seeds are variously adapted for their effective dispersal.

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Gymnosperms and Angiosperms

Can you remember that seed plant/flowering plants are divided So Gymnosperms and Angiosperms? It will interest you to know more about Gymnosperms and Angiosperms.



Gymnosperms (gymnos = naked) means plants with naked seeds. They do not have well developed flowers. They are trees or shrubs, mostly evergreen, with needle-like leaves, although, a few have scale-like leaves or broad leaves. The seeds are borne in special structures called Cones. 

Gymnosperms include the cycads, gingkos and conifers. Of these the conifers are the most important as they make up the world's temperate region forests. They produce 'soft wood' which is used for timber and wood pulp (Paper making). They also yield resins and turpentine. Pine, fir and sypruce are examples of conifers.



Angiosperms (angion = case) means plants with covered seeds. Angiosperms are the flowering plants. They form the largest group in the plant kingdom. There are over 25,000 species of angiosperms which differ greatly in size and form. They have adapted to almost every kind of habitat. 

The angiosperms are more highly evolved than the gymnosperms because they have an abundance of water-conducting vessels and bear seeds which are protected within fruits. Fruits developed from the ovaries of flowers, the female reproductive organs of the angiosperms. The angiosperms are grouped into dicotyledons and monocotyledons.


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Conclusion on Flowering Plants: Structure and Characteristics

The possession of seeds, well developed vascular bundle, root, shoot and presence of cambium among other features has made flowering plants or seed plants more advanced than non-seeded and flowerless plants.

In this article, you have learnt that:

1. Flowering plants are also called spermatophytes.

2. They are members of seed plants

3. Flowering plants are highly differentiated into roots, stems, branches and flowers

4. The conducting tissues of flowering plant are more advanced compared to seedless plants

5. The seed of flowering plants is the new sporophyte and it depends on the parent plant

6. Seed plants are classified into Gymnosperms and Angiosperms

7. Gymnosperms has naked seeds while Angiosperms have covered seeds

8. Gymnosperms seeds has endosperms and no cotyledons while Angiosperms seeds have both endosperms and cotyledons.

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