Angiosperms represent the most advanced group of plants and have been of immense importance to humans, more than any other group. They are able to grow in a variety of habitats. They can grow as trees, shrubs, bushes, herbs and small flowering plants.
Some of their characteristics include:
- They all have flowers at some stage in their life. The flowers are the reproductive organs for the plant, providing them a means of exchanging genetic information.
- They have small pollen grains that spread genetic information from flower to flower. These grains are much smaller than the gametophytes or reproductive cells used by non-flowering plants.
- Since the size is small it makes the process of fertilization occur quicker in the flowers of angiosperms and makes them more efficient at reproducing. Also they have much smaller female reproductive parts than non-flowering plants, allowing them to produce seeds more quickly.
- All angiosperms have stamens. Stamens are the reproductive structures found in flowers that produce the pollen grains that carry male genetic information.
- They have carpel that encloses developing seeds that may turn into a fruit.
- A great advantage for angiosperms is the production of endosperm. Endosperm is a material that forms after fertilization and serves as a highly nutritional food source for the developing seed and seedling.
There have been several attempts to classify angiosperms, the flowering plants. It can be divided into three broad categories being, the artificial systems based on superficial features, the natural systems based on form relationships and the phylogenetic systems based on evolutionary and genetic relationships. While the first was based on one or few morphological changes, the second was classified on the basis of their natural affinities and the third on the basis of evolutionary features known as phylogenetic system. The examples of angiosperms come in a variety of forms. Some common examples include magnolia trees, roses, tulips and tomatoes.
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