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Wild flowers.jpg
Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Embryophyta

Seed plants (spermatophytes)

Vascular plants (tracheophytes)

Non-seed-bearing Plants

Non-vascular plants (bryophytes)

The embryophytes are a category of organisms that consists of most common plants, such as trees, flowers, ferns, mosses. All are complex, multicellular organisms with specialized reproductive organs. These plants produce an embryo and generally develop vascular tissues. This group is divided into non-vascular plants and vascular plants, all of which get energy by a process called photosynthesis. Algae, fungi, and photosynthetic bacteria are not considered to be plants.


Some Embryophytes have vascular tissues, so they can grow efficiently on land, far from water. The vascular system allows water to go throughout the plant, and an outer layer or cuticle resists desiccation. Mosses are examples of non vascular plants that must live in a moist area to survive. Embryophytes are sometimes considered to be the land plants (though some grow in aquatic environments) and the vascular structures allow plants to live far from lakes and oceans.


Vascular plants generally reproduce using seeds, though some like Lycopodiophyta, Equisetophyta, Psilotophyta, Ophioglossophyta and Pteridophyta reproduce by spores. Plants which reproduce using seeds include gymnosperms in Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Pinophyta, and Gnetophyta as well as flowering plants or angiosperms in Magnoliophyta.

Phaseolus vulgaris seeds


Mosses usually grow in moist environments using water to disperse their spores. Seed plants have a large variety of ways to disperse their seeds, often functioning as parts of complex ecosystems. Because embryophytes are such a very large group of land plants they are found almost anywhere.

Related References