Salient features of Gymnosperms

Salient features of Gymnosperms:

Gymnosperms symbolize a primitive class of seed bearing plants (that is, Spermotophytes) in which the seeds are nude that is, they are not enclosed by the fruit wall as in Angiosperms (The term Gymnos means naked and spermos means seed). This is since in Gymnosperms the ovules are depicted and they are not covered by ovary. Rather the ovules are borne directly on open carpellary leaves termed as megasporophylls and therefore they are naked and they build up into naked seeds after fertilization.

Gymnosperms were most plentiful during the Mesozoic era (225 million years) ago. Though, they form only a small portion of the current day vegetation. There are around 70 genera and 900 species of gymnosperms distributed in tropical and temperate areas. Most of them are Conifers generally evergreen, with needle like leaves. They are found in the form of coniferous forests. The general conifers are species of pine, fir, Cedar, spruce, Cupressus, Sequoia gigantia (red wood tree that measures more than 100 meters in height).



Figure: Gymnosperms


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