Gymnosperms – Characteristics
(Morphology, Reproduction and Life Cycle of Gymnosperms with PPT)
Gymnosperms are primitive seed-producing plants of Spermatophytes (Phanerogams). They are ‘Naked-Seed’ Plants. The term is derived from two Greek words: ‘gymnos’ meaning naked and ‘sperma’ meaning seeds. They are characterized by naked ovules (i.e., ovule without the ovary).
The ovules of Gymnosperms are borne directly on the surface of the megasporophyls. Unlike Angiosperms, in Gymnosperms the seeds are NOT enclosed in the fruit. Thus the Gymnosperms are also known as “Phanerogams without ovary”.
General Characteristics of Gymnosperms
Ø Gymnosperms are a small ancient group of seed plants consisting of 83 genera and 1080 species.
Ø Distribution: Temperate and Tropical regions.
Ø Gymnosperms were originated in the Paleozoic Era (541 – 252 million years ago).
Ø They were the dominant plants of Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the Mesozoic era.