The flowering plants of the plant kingdom

General features of flowering plants

  • Previously, all the flowering plants were kept in the sub-kingdom called Phanerogams.
  • They are the most developed and economically important plants.
  • All flowering plants bear seeds and are hence also known as spermatophytes.
  • These plants have distinct roots, stem, leaves and flowers.
  • The vascular system is also well developed in these plants.
  • Division Tracheophyta consists of three sub-divisions; Pteridophyta (a non-flowering division), and the two flowering divisions, Gymnospermae and Angiospermae.
  1. Gymnospermae:
  • Commonly known as conifers, they produce woody cones which are fruits made up of scales.
  • They bear seeds but without a seed coat. i.e. ovules are not enclosed within an ovary and the seed is naked.
  • They are distributed in the cold climates where snow, rather than rain, is the source of water.
  • They are mostly perennials, xerophytic, evergreen and tall woody plants.
  • They bear unisexual cones, i.e male and female cones are found in different branches of the same plant or different plants.
  • Pollination usually takes place with the help of wind.
  • The vascular bundles are conjoint, collateral and open.
  • The wood is usually soft and is widely used for lumber and timber.
  • e.g. Cycas, Pinus, Fir, Larch etc.
  1. Angiospermae:
  • The most dominant ubiquitous flowering plants belong to this sub-division.
  • Flowers are well developed and bear ovules inside the ovary; hence the seeds are enclosed within the fruit.
  • The flower normally consists of four whorls; calyx (sepals), corolla (petals), androecium (stamens) and gynoecium (pistil).
  • Most of them are bisexual and few are unisexual.
  • Insects and animals usually act as pollinating agents as the petals are attractive.
  • They may be herbs, shrubs or trees.
  • e.g. peepal, orange, apple, maize, rice etc.

The sub-division Angiospermae is further divided into two classes; Monocotyledonae and Dicotyledonae.


  • These plants have only one seed leaf (cotyledon) in their seeds.
  • They have long and narrow leaves with parallel venation.
  • They have a fibrous or adventitious root system.
  • They are mainly herbs (stem is hollow, herbaceous and soft).
  • Nodes and internodes are present on stem and can be easily broken at these points.
  • Stem consists of open and scattered vascular bundles and lack vascular cambium.
  • The number of petals is either three (trimerous) or multiple of three.
  • e.g. rice, wheat, maize, onion, lily, Pistia, Lemna, sugarcane, bamboo etc.


  • These plants have two seed leaves (cotyledons) in their seeds.
  • The leaves are either simple or compound and are broad with net like reticulate venation.
  • They have tap root system with secondary roots.
  • They are ubiquitous and are herbs, shrubs or trees.
  • The stem is normally solid, hard and woody with no nodes and internodes.
  • Vascular bundles are closed and arranged in a ring.
  • The flower usually bears four or five petals or their multiples.
  • e.g. gram, pea, mustard, apple, mango, sunflower etc.