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Plant Classification

Plant classification is the method of organizing plants in an order based on the features they have in common. The science of classification of plants is known as plant taxonomy. Plant taxonomy includes finding, identification, description, classification and naming plants. Classification of plants includes identification and naming of the organisms, it also ensures that the plants is given correct definition of the organism and establishes an individual unit in the living world. 



 

Plant Classification Chart

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Plant Classification Chart

Plant Classification Chart

Classification System

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Earlier fungi and some members of the Monera and Protists which have cell walls were included with the Plantae. Now, plants are classified as algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms. 
  • The earliest classification systems used only morphological characters, they mainly considered vegetative characters like structure of androecium. This artificial system of classification separated species that were closely related and considered only few characteristics. This system gave importance to vegetative and sexual characteristics, where as vegetative characteristics are affected by the environment. 
  • The natural classification system is based on natural affinities among the organisms, and also internal features like ultrastructure, anatomy, embryology and phytochemistry. 
  • The phylogenetic classification systems is based on evolutionary relationships between various organisms. 
  • Numerical taxonomy is carried out based on observable characters which are assigned numbers and codes and are then processed as data. 
  • Cytotaxonomy considers cytological information like chromosome number structure and behavior. 
  • Chemotaxonomy uses chemical constituents of plants. 

Algae

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Algae are organisms bearing chlorophyll, they are simple, thalloid, atutotrophic and mostly aquatic organisms. They are both fresh water and marine organisms. They occur in a variety of habitats and also in association with fungi as animals. They are of variable sizes, they may be microscopic like Chlamydomonas and colonial forms like Volvox, few marine forms like kelps form massive plant bodies. Reproduction in algae is by vegetative, asexual and sexual methods.

Algae

Algae are useful in many ways:
  • They can fix carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. 
  • They increase the level of dissolved oxygen in their immediate environment. 
  • They are important as they are primary producers which form basis of the food cycle of all aquatic organisms. 

Bryophytes

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  • The bryophytes include organisms like mosses and liverworts, they are commonly found growing in moist shaded areas in the hills. 
  • Bryophytes are known as amphibians of the plant kingdom cause they live in soil but are dependent on water for sexual reproduction. 
  • They occur in damp, humid habitats. 
  • These plants plants lack true roots, stem or leaves or they may possess root-like, leaf-like or stem-like structures. 
  • These are of little economic importance but some act like food for herbaceous mammals, birds and other animals. 
Bryophytes

Pteridophytes

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  • Pteridophytes include horsetails and ferns.
  • They are mostly used for medicinal purposes and soil-binders. They are also grown as ornamentals. 
  • Pteridophytes are the first plants to possess vascular tissues xylem and phloem.
  • These are present in cool, damp, shady place and flourish well in sandy-soil conditions.  
  • The main plant body of the pteridophyte is a sporophytes and it is differentiated into true root, stem and leaves. 
  • They have well differentiated vascular tissue. 
  • The gametophytes require cool, damp, shady places to grow and hence they are restricted to narrow geographical regions. 
Pteridophytes

Gymnosperms

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  • Gymnosperms are plants in which the ovules are not enclosed by any ovary wall and they remain exposed both before and after fertilization. 
  • These seeds develop post fertilization and are not covered, hence naked. 
  • The gymnopserms includes medium-sized or tall tress and shrubs. 
  • The leaves may be simple or compound and they can withstand extreme temperature, humidity and wind. 
  • The gymnosperms are heterosporous and have a sporophyte dominant life cycle while the gametophytes phase is relatively short. 
  • They have many economic uses, like pine, spruce, fir and cedar are used for lumber. 
  • Some of them are also used as soap, nail polish, varnish, gum, food and perfumes. 
Gymnosperms

Angiosperms

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  • Angiosperms are flowering plants; they have developed structures called flowers. 
  • The seeds of these plants are enclosed by fruits. 
  • These plants occur in a wide range of habitats. 
  • They provide commercially important products like food, fodder, fuel, medicines, etc. 
  • They are majorly divided into two classes - the dicotyledons and the monocotyledons.
  •  The characteristics of angiosperm include flowers, seeds which contain endosperm and the production of fruits which enclose the seeds. 
Angiosperms

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