What are Angiosperms?

David White

Plants are very dynamic things, despite their sedate reputation. They have exciting lives, they make their own food — at least some of them do — and they do humans a big service by consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Some of the most advanced plants are the angiosperms. These plants are vascular, and they have seeds. The add-on that makes them so advanced is their ability to have flowers.

Roses are dicots, a type of angiosperm.
Roses are dicots, a type of angiosperm.

Most of the members of the plant kingdom have tubes that carry water and nutrients throughout the body of the plant. This kind of water-nutrient transportation is called the vascular system. Plants that do not have these are called nonvascular plants.

Dicots, a type of angiosperm, include sunflowers.
Dicots, a type of angiosperm, include sunflowers.

Some vascular plants that have seeds are called gymnosperms. Some of the most common gymnosperms are conifer trees, like pine, cedar, spruce, and redwood. These kinds of trees are also evergreens, able to keep their needles even in the cold months of winter.

Potatoes are monocots, a type of angiosperm.
Potatoes are monocots, a type of angiosperm.

Unlike gymnosperms, whose seeds are exposed to weather, animals, and people, angiosperms have their seeds surrounded by flowers, which can offer incredible protection. Many of these plants have an inner layer that surrounds the seed, storing food and protecting it from harm, and an outer layer that protects the seed from the elements or animal attacks.

Monocots, a type of angiosperm, include tomatoes.
Monocots, a type of angiosperm, include tomatoes.

Flowers are also reproductive elements. The stamen produces pollen, which is used to fertilize the egg in the carpel. The result is more seeds.

A field of sorghum, a type of angiosperm.
A field of sorghum, a type of angiosperm.

Angiosperms can have one of two kinds of seeds, monocots or dicots. Monocots have one package of food. They have leaves made of long strands, and petals in groups of three. Monocots include grass, palm trees, lilies, and corn.

Corn is a monocot, a type of angiosperm.
Corn is a monocot, a type of angiosperm.

Dicots have two packages of food. They have flowers with four or five petals and complex leaves with veins. Dicots include apple trees, cherry trees, roses, sunflowers, and cacti.

Barley, a monocot.
Barley, a monocot.

Angiosperms are very important to agriculture. The grass family of monocots includes rice, corn, wheat, barley, rye, oats, millet, sugar, and sorghum. The crops of these plants are used to feed people and livestock. Other monocots that are grown in large numbers to feed people and animals are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkins. The dicot fruit trees provide food for people and animals as well.

Cherries are dicots, a type of angiosperm.
Cherries are dicots, a type of angiosperm.
Apple trees are dicots.
Apple trees are dicots.
Oats belong in the grass family of monocots.
Oats belong in the grass family of monocots.
All angiosperms transport materials within the plant itself via xylem and phloem.
All angiosperms transport materials within the plant itself via xylem and phloem.

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Discussion Comments

anon996573

A tomato and a potato are both dicots. Thank you bud.

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