Plants are classified into two groups as flowering plants and non-flowering plants. Non-flowering plants can be simply explained as plants which do not ever bear flowers.
Here are some examples of non-flowering plants,
Gymnosperms, A kind non-flowering plant produce seeds for reproduction through an exposed seed. The seed is covered by ovary or fruit in most of the flowering plants, but gymnosperms do not have covers on their seeds. Some non-flowering plants classified under gymnosperms are.
Conifers, Cycads, Gingko, Geophytes
Another name for conifers can be named as pine trees. These types of non-flowering plants can be seen all over the world. They have very large woody trunks.
Cycad is a palm-like tree which contains large pinnate compound leaves and also in the end of the branches cones can be seen. Fertilization occurs by the pollen produce by the male cones are carried to female cones by the wind. These plants can be seen in tropical and subtropical regions.
Mosses, a type of non-flowering plants, belong to the taxonomic division bryophyta. Generally, they form as green mats and clumps. A single plant consists of simple leaves attached to a stem. They do not contain seeds. Mosses can be grown in cool, humid, wet and shady locations. Mosses can be seen on tree trunks, wet walls, logs, edges of streams/rivers, on or under trees, damp city streets and on roofs. The tallest moss in the world is Dawsonia, and can be grown up to 50 cm in height. Mosses began to spread on land 470 million years ago. Mosses are used to decorate gardens and also in the florist trade. By absorbing Moss can decrease the level of co2 in the atmosphere.
Liverworts also called Hepatics are a type of non-flowering plants. They look like Mosses. Liverworts are very small, 2-20mm wide and 10 cm long. There are about 9000 species of liverworts throughout the world. Species of liverworts may be dioicous or monoicous. Dioecious liverworts bear male and female parts in separate plants. Monoicous liverworts bear both male and female parts in the same plant. Liverworts are grown on rocks, trees, and large patches of ground. Mostly can be seen in wet and shady locations. Some species can be seen in deserts also.
Characteristics of Liverworts
- Most species are leafy
- Their leaves do not contain costao
- Can be seen deep lobes or segmented leaves
Uses of liverworts
- In the past, it is believed that liverworts were used to cure diseases of liver.
- Liverworts reduce soil erosion along riversides.
- Use in aquariums.
Horsetails are also a type of non-flowering plants. Mare’s tail, horse pipes, scouring rush (unbranched species), can dock (branched species) are other names for horsetails. The scientific name for horsetail is Equisetum. Normally it grows up to 4feet tall and 6feet wide. Giant size growing up to 8feet.There are about 25 species of horsetails. They reproduce by spores.
As the stems are coated with silicates it is useful for cleaning metal items. In some countries such as Japan, America used to eat horsetails in ancient times. But it is not good enough to eat. Continuous eating of horsetail can be poisonous, which can cause vitamin B1 deficiency.
Characteristics of horsetails
- They have less amount of leaves.
- Stems are green color, jointed and rigid.
- They contain nodes on the stem.
Drynaria, which is a another type of non-flowering plants. Also known as Basket Ferns. The scientific name of drynaria is Aglamorpha. There are about 50 species. These plants can be classified into two types according to types of leaves as fertile foliage and sterilize nest fronds. These plants can be mostly found in areas such as Asia, Australia and Africa.
Some species are grown on trees while some species are grown on rocks and also they can be seen on walls. Drynaria can be named as a traditional medicine of some Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Thailand, and is commonly used to treat bone injuries.