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  Section: Introduction to Botany » Plant Classification
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System of Plant Classification

Plant Classification
  Early Efforts at Plant Classification
  Carolus Linnaeus
  The Theory of Evolution
  Problems in Classification
  Monophyletic or Polyphyletic?
  System of Plant Classification
  What Is a Species?

How are the land plants classified? This text adopts a five kingdom system. Monera, Protista (which includes the algae), and Fungi have already been considered. Land plants can be studied a number of different ways. The emphasis in this text is on simplicity, focusing on the subkingdom Embryophytes. Embryophytes are subdivided as follows:

bryophytes-land plants lacking vascular tissue:
  liverworts (Marchantid
hornworts (Anthoceros)
mosses (Mniurn
tracheophytes-land plants having vascular tissue:
  ferns (Dryopteris)
club mosses (Lycopodium)
  gymnosperms (coniferous trees)
angiosperms (flowering plants)

Bryophytes lack vascular tissue and, thus, take water in through rhizoids (an undifferentiated tissue) and by absorption from the air. Pteridophytes have vascular tissue, producing xylem and phloem in bundles. Spermatophytes are vascular plants that produce seeds.

Each of the primary subdivisions noted preceding is called a division, or phylum (phyla, plural). Phyla are divided into smaller groups as follows:

In writing the scientific name-that is, the genus name and the species name-proper protocol is to begin the genus name with an uppercase letter, the species name with a lowercase letter, and to italicize (or underline to indicate italics) both names.


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