Plant Classification | Evolution | Biology | FuseSchool

Plants are extremely complex and diverse - there are thousands of species. In fact, there are probably somewhere around half a million different species. And these are just the ones we know about - there are no doubt many more that haven’t been fully discovered yet! It is estimated that 1 in 5, so 20% of plant species are threatened with extinction. In order to continue studying all these plant species, we need to organise them into different groups. This is known as plant classification. Plants within a group are more closely related to other members of their own group, than they are to members of another group. Just like we as humans are more closely related to the great apes than we are to other mammals.  So, how do plants classify? The plant kingdom can be split into plants with seeds and plants without seeds. Not every plant grows from a seed - like ferns and mosses for example. They grow from spores instead. Other plants use asexual reproduction, and grow new plants from rhizomes or tubers.The evolution of the seed was a huge evolutionary step for plants; it meant they could grow anywhere on earth, in any environment. They were no longer limited to extremely moist conditions. Seed plants can then be split into flowering plants and non-flowering plants.These have ‘scientific names’ of gymnosperms and angiosperms. As in their name: non-flowering plants do not produce flowers. They also reproduce by means of an exposed seed, or ovule. Gymnosperm means “naked seed”.  Like with conifers. the cone on a pine tree is a “naked seed” and they don’t produce flowers. Gymnosperms are usually tall, evergreen trees often with needle-shaped leaves. They are usually found in dry places.  Now for angiosperms - the largest and most diverse group in the plant kingdom. Angiosperms consist of 2 major groups: monocotyledons and dicotyledons. These groups differ with respect to their roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. Some observable differences are that monocots have parallel veins and petals in groups of 3. Whereas dicots have netlike veins and petals in groups of 4 or 5. There are other differences as well… but we don’t need to worry too much about these at this stage.  Grass and maize are examples of monocots. Whereas trees, sunflowers and roses are examples of dicots. So there we have some of the ways that plants are classified. You need to remember that non-flowering plants are called gymnosperms, and have naked seeds. And then flowering plants are called angiosperms, which can be separated into the monocots and dicots.  Our teachers and animators come together to make fun & easy-to-understand videos in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths & ICT. VISIT us at, where all of our videos are carefully organised into topics and specific orders, and to see what else we have on offer. Comment, like and share with other learners. You can both ask and answer questions, and teachers will get back to you. These videos can be used in a flipped classroom model or as a revision aid. Twitter: Access a deeper Learning Experience in the FuseSchool platform and app: Friend us: This Open Educational Resource is free of charge, under a Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC ( View License Deed: ). You are allowed to download the video for nonprofit, educational use. If you would like to modify the video, please contact us: Click here to see more videos:

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