The spermatophytes, also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed plants. They are a subset of the embryophytes or land plants. The term phanerogams or phanerogamae is derived from the Greek φανερός, phanerós meaning "visible", in contrast to the cryptogamae from Greek κρυπτός kryptós = "hidden" together with the suffix γαμέω, gameein, "to marry". These terms distinguished those plants with hidden sexual organs (cryptogamae) from those with visible sexual organs (phanerogamae).

Seed plants
Temporal range: Carboniferous? or earlier to present, 319–0 Ma
Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, a member of the Pinophyta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Spermatophytes


The extant spermatophytes form five divisions, the first four of which are traditionally grouped as gymnosperms, plants that have unenclosed, "naked seeds":

The fifth extant division is the flowering plants, also known as angiosperms or magnoliophytes, the largest and most diverse group of spermatophytes. Angiosperms possess seeds enclosed in a fruit, unlike gymnosperms.

In addition to the taxa listed above, the fossil record contains evidence of many extinct taxa of seed plants. The so-called "seed ferns" (Pteridospermae) were one of the earliest successful groups of land plants, and forests dominated by seed ferns were prevalent in the late Paleozoic. Glossopteris was the most prominent tree genus in the ancient southern supercontinent of Gondwana during the Permian period. By the Triassic period, seed ferns had declined in ecological importance, and representatives of modern gymnosperm groups were abundant and dominant through the end of the Cretaceous, when angiosperms radiated.


A whole genome duplication event in the ancestor of seed plants occurred about 319 million years ago.[1] This gave rise to a series of evolutionary changes that resulted in the origin of seed plants.

A middle Devonian (385-million-year-old) precursor to seed plants from Belgium has been identified predating the earliest seed plants by about 20 million years. Runcaria, small and radially symmetrical, is an integumented megasporangium surrounded by a cupule. The megasporangium bears an unopened distal extension protruding above the mutlilobed integument. It is suspected that the extension was involved in anemophilous (wind) pollination. Runcaria sheds new light on the sequence of character acquisition leading to the seed. Runcaria has all of the qualities of seed plants except for a solid seed coat and a system to guide the pollen to the seed.[2]

Relationships and nomenclature

Seed-bearing plants were traditionally divided into angiosperms, or flowering plants, and gymnosperms, which includes the gnetophytes, cycads, ginkgo, and conifers. Older morphological studies believed in a close relationship between the gnetophytes and the angiosperms,[3] in particular based on vessel elements. However, molecular studies (and some more recent morphological[4][5] and fossil[6] papers) have generally shown a clade of gymnosperms, with the gnetophytes in or near the conifers. For example, one common proposed set of relationships is known as the gne-pine hypothesis and looks like:[7][8][9]

angiosperms (flowering plants)


cycads [10]


Pinaceae (the pine family)


other conifers

However, the relationships between these groups should not be considered settled.[3][11]

Other classifications group all the seed plants in a single division, with classes for the five groups:

A more modern classification ranks these groups as separate divisions (sometimes under the Superdivision Spermatophyta):

An alternative phylogeny of spermatophytes based on the work by Novíkov & Barabaš-Krasni 2015[12] with plant taxon authors from Anderson, Anderson & Cleal 2007[13] showing the relationship of extinct clades.


†Moresnetiopsida Doweld 2001

Lyginopteridopsida Novák 1961 emend. Anderson, Anderson & Cleal 2007

†Pachytestopsida Doweld 2001

Callistophytales Rothwell 1981 emend. Anderson, Anderson & Cleal 2007

†Peltaspermopsida Doweld 2001

†Umkomasiales Doweld 2001

†Phasmatocycadopsida Doweld 2001

†Pentoxylopsida Pant ex Doweld 2001

†Dictyopteridiopsida Doweld 2001

Cycadeoideopsida Scott 1923

Caytoniopsida Thomas ex Frenguelli 1946

Magnoliopsida (Flowering plants)


Cycadopsida (Cycads)

Ginkgoopsida (Maidenhair trees)

Pinopsida (Conifers)

Unassigned spermatophytes:

  • †Avatiaceae Anderson & Anderson 2003
  • †Axelrodiopsida Anderson & Anderson
  • †Alexiales Anderson & Anderson 2003
  • †Hamshawviales Anderson & Anderson 2003
  • †Hexapterospermales Doweld 2001
  • †Hlatimbiales Anderson & Anderson 2003
  • †Matatiellales Anderson & Anderson 2003
  • †Petriellales Taylor et al. 1994
  • †Arberiopsida Doweld 2001
  • †Czekanowskiales Taylor et al. 2008
  • †Iraniales E. Taylor et al. 2008
  • †Vojnovskyales E. Taylor et al. 2008
  • †Hermanophytales E. Taylor et al. 2008
  • †Dirhopalostachyaceae E. Taylor et al. 2008


  1. ^ Jiao Y, Wickett NJ, Ayyampalayam S, Chanderbali AS, Landherr L, Ralph PE, Tomsho LP, Hu Y, Liang H, Soltis PS, Soltis DE, Clifton SW, Schlarbaum SE, Schuster SC, Ma H, Leebens-Mack J, Depamphilis CW (2011) Ancestral polyploidy in seed plants and angiosperms. Nature
  2. ^ "Science Magazine". Runcaria, a Middle Devonian Seed Plant Precursor. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Palmer, Jeffrey D.; Soltis, Douglas E.; Chase, Mark W. (2004). "The plant tree of life: an overview and some points of view". American Journal of Botany. 91 (10): 1437–1445. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1437. PMID 21652302.
  4. ^ James A. Doyle (January 2006). "Seed ferns and the origin of angiosperms". The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 133 (1): 169–209. doi:10.3159/1095-5674(2006)133[169:SFATOO]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1095-5674.
  5. ^ Coiro, Mario; Chomicki, Guillaume; Doyle, James A. (n.d.). "Experimental signal dissection and method sensitivity analyses reaffirm the potential of fossils and morphology in the resolution of the relationship of angiosperms and Gnetales". Paleobiology. 44 (3): 490–510. doi:10.1017/pab.2018.23. ISSN 0094-8373.
  6. ^ Zi-Qiang Wang (2004). "A New Permian Gnetalean Cone as Fossil Evidence for Supporting Current Molecular Phylogeny". Annals of Botany. 94 (2): 281–288. doi:10.1093/aob/mch138. PMC 4242163. PMID 15229124.
  7. ^ Chaw, Shu-Miaw; Parkinson, Christopher L.; Cheng, Yuchang; Vincent, Thomas M.; Palmer, Jeffrey D. (2000). "Seed plant phylogeny inferred from all three plant genomes: Monophyly of extant gymnosperms and origin of Gnetales from conifers". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 97 (8): 4086–4091. doi:10.1073/pnas.97.8.4086. PMC 18157. PMID 10760277.
  8. ^ Bowe, L. M.; Michelle, L.; Coat, Gwénaële; Claude (2000). "Phylogeny of seed plants based on all three genomic compartments: Extant gymnosperms are monophyletic and Gnetales' closest relatives are conifers". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 97 (8): 4092–4097. doi:10.1073/pnas.97.8.4092. PMC 18159. PMID 10760278.
  9. ^ Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Zanis, Michael J. (2002). "Phylogeny of seed plants based on evidence from eight genes". American Journal of Botany. 89 (10): 1670–1681. doi:10.3732/ajb.89.10.1670. PMID 21665594. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10.
  10. ^ Chung-Shien Wu, Ya-Nan Wang, Shu-Mei Liu and Shu-Miaw Chaw (2007). "Chloroplast Genome (cpDNA) of Cycas taitungensis and 56 cp Protein-Coding Genes of Gnetum parvifolium: Insights into cpDNA Evolution and Phylogeny of Extant Seed Plants". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 24 (6): 1366–1379. doi:10.1093/molbev/msm059. PMID 17383970.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Won, Hyosig; Renner, Susanne (August 2006). "Dating Dispersal and Radiation in the Gymnosperm Gnetum (Gnetales)—Clock Calibration When Outgroup Relationships Are Uncertain". Systematic Biology. 55 (4): 610–622. doi:10.1080/10635150600812619. PMID 16969937.
  12. ^ Novíkov & Barabaš-Krasni (2015). Modern plant systematics. Liga-Pres. p. 685. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.4745.6164. ISBN 978-966-397-276-3.
  13. ^ Anderson, Anderson & Cleal (2007). Brief history of the gymnosperms: classification, biodiversity, phytogeography and ecology. Strelitzia. 20. SANBI. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-919976-39-6.


2013 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 2013.

2015 in paleobotany

This article contains papers in paleobotany that were published in 2015.

2018 in paleobotany

This article records new taxa of plants that are scheduled to be described during the year 2018, as well as other significant discoveries and events related to paleobotany that occurred in the year 2018.

Adolf Schenck

Adolf Schenck (April 4, 1857 – September 15, 1936) was a German geographer, mineralogist and botanist who was a native of Siegen. He was a brother to botanist Heinrich Schenck (1860-1927).

Schenck studied at the Universities of Berlin and Bonn, obtaining his doctorate in 1884. From 1884 to 1887 he was a geographer on a mineralogical expedition to German Southwest Africa. The expedition was organized by merchant Adolf Lüderitz (1834-1886) and was under the leadership of Karl Höpfner (1857-1900). Several noted scientists participated in the venture, including Swiss botanist Hans Schinz (1868-1941), who performed botanical investigations in the northern part of German Southwest Africa. In the southern part of the colony, Schenck collected minerals and plants, particularly lichens. Prior to returning to Germany, he visited mines and goldfields that are now located in the present-day nations of South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.

From 1899 to 1922 he was a professor at the University of Halle, and continued working as a lecturer until 1932. As a teacher he gave lectures on the geography of German colonies. Schenck has a handful of African spermatophyte species named after him.

Adolphe-Théodore Brongniart

Adolphe-Théodore Brongniart (French: [adɔlf teodɔːʁ bʁɔ̃ɲaːʁ]) FRS FRSE FGS (14 January 1801 – 18 February 1876) was a French botanist. He was the son of the geologist Alexandre Brongniart and grandson of the architect, Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. Brongniart's pioneering work on the relationships between extinct and existing plants has earned him the title of father of paleobotany. His major work on plant fossils was his Histoire des végétaux fossiles (1828–37). He wrote his dissertation on the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae), an extant family of flowering plants, and worked at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris until his death. In 1851, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation Brongn. when citing a botanical name.


Alabama () is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the "Cotton State". The state tree is the longleaf pine, and the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery. The largest city by population is Birmingham, which has long been the most industrialized city; the largest city by land area is Huntsville. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana.From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many states in the southern U.S., suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Similar to other former slave states, Alabamian legislators employed Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise and otherwise discriminate against African Americans from the end of the Reconstruction Era up until at least the 1970s. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s. During this time, urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one primarily based on agriculture to one with diversified interests. The state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.

Billie Lee Turner (botanist)

Billie Lee Turner (born 1925 in Yoakum, Texas) is an American botanist and the father of a geographer Billie Lee Turner II. He was a professor of botany at the University of Texas at Austin Where he also directed the botany research programme and herbarium.

Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein

Baron Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein (30 July 1768 in Stuttgart – 28 June 1826 in Merefa) was an early explorer of the flora and archaeology of the southern portion of Imperial Russia, including the Caucasus and Novorossiya. He compiled the first comprehensive flora catalogue of the Crimeo-Caucasian region.

Gran Sabana

La Gran Sabana (Spanish pronunciation: [la ɣɾan saˈβana], English: The Great Savanna) is a region in southeastern Venezuela, part of the Guianan savanna ecoregion.

The savanna spreads into the regions of the Guiana Highlands and south-east into Bolívar State, extending further to the borders with Brazil and Guyana. The Gran Sabana has an area of 10,820 km2 (4,180 sq mi) and is part of the second largest National Park in Venezuela, the Canaima National Park. Only Parima Tapirapecó National Park is larger than Canaima. The average temperature is around 20 °C (68 °F), but at night can drop to 13 °C (55 °F) and in some of the more elevated sites, depending on weather, may fall a bit more.

The location offers one of the most unusual landscapes in the world, with rivers, waterfalls and gorges, deep and vast valleys, impenetrable jungles and savannahs that host large numbers and varieties of plant species, a diverse fauna and the isolated table-top mesas locally known as tepuis.

Hans Arne Jensen

Hans Arne Jensen is a Danish botanist, agronomist, and writer.

Jensen earned a PhD at Agricultural University in Copenhagen, and then worked for 40 years for the Ministry of Agriculture, Plant Directorate, at the Danish state seed testing station. His researches in paleobotany include publications on organic macrofossils, on the germination of ancient seeds, and archaeological investigations into seeds and crops in Viking-era Danish towns.

Hung-ta Chang

Hung Ta Chang (Hung-ta Chang, Zhang Hongda, 张宏达, October 1914 – 20 January 2016), was a Chinese botanist and ecologist.

Kåre Bremer

Kåre Bremer (born 17 January 1948) is a Swedish botanist and academic. He has also been Vice-Chancellor of Stockholm University.

List of plant orders

This article lists the orders of the Viridiplantae.

Paul Henri Lecomte

Paul Henri Lecomte (8 January 1856, in Saint-Nabord, Vosges – 12 June 1934, in Paris) was a French botanist.

In 1884, after attaining a number of degrees, Lecomte became a professor at Lycée Saint-Louis in Paris. In addition to his teaching duties, he worked in the botany laboratory of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (French National Museum of Natural History) under Philippe van Tieghem. Lecomte obtained his doctorate in 1889 and subsequently took part in scientific expeditions to North Africa, Egypt, the Antilles, French Guiana and French Indo-China.

In 1906, after having volunteered his time for some twenty years at the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Lecomte was formally appointed to head the spermatophyte department, a paid position, succeeding Louis Édouard Bureau. In 1917, he was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences. He authored over 15 books including: Notions de botanique ("Botanical Ideas"), Formation de la vanilline dans la vanille ("The Formation of Vanillin in Vanilla"), Les bois d’Indochine ("The Trees of Indo-China") and Madagascar: les bois de la forêt d'Analamazaotra ("Madagascar: The Trees and Flowers of Analamazaotra (Andasibe)"). He retired in 1931.

Vivian Frederick Maynard FitzSimons

Vivian Frederick Maynard FitzSimons, born in Pietermaritzburg, was a notable herpetologist in South Africa. Also, he contributed to the collection of spermatophyte samples for the National Herbarium which has become part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. In 1937, together with Anna Amelia Obermeyer, he collected some of the earliest plant specimens from the Eastern Highlands of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Later, as director of the Transvaal Museum, he together with Charles Koch helped to establish the Namib Desert Research Institute in Gobabeb

Xixová-Japuí State Park

The Xixová-Japuí State Park (Portuguese: Parque Estadual Xixová-Japuí) is a State park in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

It protects an isolated area of well-preserved Atlantic Forest on the Atlantic coast near the city of São Paulo.

Îles des Saintes

The Îles des Saintes ("Islands of the Saints"), also known as Les Saintes is a group of small islands in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France. It is part of the Canton of Trois-Rivières and is divided into two communes: Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas. It is in the arrondissement of Basse-Terre and also in Guadeloupe's 4th constituency.

(red algae)
(green algae,
& land plants)
Plant groups
Plant growth and habit
Plant taxonomy
  • Lists
  • Related topics


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.