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  Section: Introduction to Botany » Gymnosperms
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Classifying the Gymnosperms

  The First Seed Plants
  Classifying the Gymnosperms
  Ginkgo biloba

An often used system of classifying plants is to place all the seed-bearing plants in the phylum Spermatophyta (sperm meaning “seed). The spermatophytes are then divided into the gymnosperms (naked-seededp lants) and the angiosperms (enclosed seeds). An angiosperm has its seeds enclosed in an ovw, in maturity called the fruit. In many forms of gymnosperm, the seeds are not enclosed but, rather, lie on the surface of a bract, or cone scale. Gymnosperms are classified into four orders: Cordaitales, Coniferales, Ginkgoales, and Gnetales. The most important of these is Coniferales, which includes the largest of the terrestrial plants as well as plants of great economic importance.


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