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At Ecologista Verde we want to teach you to better know the plants that surround us and do it in a simple way. This time we will focus on knowing the main differences between angiosperm and gymnosperm plants. For this, we offer you a simple table and several sections dedicated to knowing what these plants are like and what their main characteristics are.

In addition, we have added some examples with common and recognizable plants, even by the most beginners in the subject, to help not only their distinction at a glance, but to strengthen these basic botanical knowledge that we try to teach you every day. So if you want to discover the difference between angiosperms and gymnosperms and more details about these plants, keep reading!

Summary of differences between angiosperms and gymnosperms

These are the main differences between angiosperm and gymnosperm plants:

  • Plants belonging to the gymnosperms group are generally woody, while angiosperms are mostly herbaceous.
  • The branching of gymnosperms is always monopodic, while angiosperms are sympathetic.
  • In the case of gymnosperms we speak of a pivoting root system with superficial roots, while in angiosperms they have a branched root system without a main axis.
  • The log of gymnosperms is formed only by tracheids, in the case of angiosperms it is composed of both tracheids and tracheae.
  • Gymnosperms have evergreen leaves. Instead, angiosperms can be both deciduous and evergreen.
  • Gymnosperm pollination is anemophilic and direct. This means that the pollen is directly captured by the ovum. In angiosperms, pollination is zoophilic and indirect, so the pollen is captured by the stigma.
  • Fertilization of gymnosperms is simple and that of angiosperms is double.
  • Gymnosperm seeds are naked and have numerous cotyledons, while angiosperms have only 1 or 2 cotyledons and are found inside the fruit.
  • The reproduction of gymnosperms is much slower than that of angiosperms.
  • There are more than 250,000 species within the group of angiosperms while gymnosperms have only about 850 different species approximately.

Next we will see what are the angiosperms and gymnosperms plants with examples.

What are angiosperm plants and their characteristics

The angiosperm plants make up the largest group of land plants with no less than more than 250,000 copies. Also known as cormophytes, that is, plants with differentiated tissues and organs, are those that are mainly characterized by having the so-called true flowers. In addition, these have what is known as a pedicel, a small leaf born in the axillary area of the bract.

Where appropriate, the seeds remain enclosed and protected by the carpels or the ovary wall until it is pollinated and becomes fruit. Within this classification we will not only find herbaceous plants, but also shrub and arboreal ones. By the number of cotyledons of their seeds they are classified into two groups: dicots and monocots.


They are those whose seeds are provided with two cotyledons that are located on each side of the embryo. The main root of these plants is very resistant and is maintained until the end of the plant's life. As for the stem, dicotyledonous plants have vessels arranged in circles. Among these, woody and Liberian, is a tissue called cambium. Its function is to help the growth and thickness of the stem.

Learn more about it with this other post on What is a cotyledon.


Those that are distinguished by having a complete and visible flower. In addition, it has a single embryonic leaf, or cotyledon, that completely envelops the seed. The roots of this type of plant are of the fasciculate type. The stem, unlike dicotyledons, is not usually branched so they do not have a cambium. In fact, in the case of herbaceous plants, the stem is hollow. As for the flowers, they usually appear almost always in multiples of three.

We recommend you discover more information about What are monocotildeonas plants and examples with this other article.

Examples of Angiosperm Plants

Here we give you several examples of angiosperm plants, which you will surely already know:

  • Orange tree
  • Poppy
  • Wheat
  • Geranium
  • Apple tree
  • Ginger
  • peach
  • Rosebush
  • Birch
  • Sugar cane
  • Banana
  • Azalea
  • Barley
  • Orchids
  • Lily
  • Clover
  • Sunflower
  • Gazania
  • Vine
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber

To expand the information on this type of plants, we advise you to read this article by Green Ecologist about Angiosperm Plants: what they are, characteristics and examples.

What are gymnosperm plants and their characteristics

Gymnosperms are seed plants, also known as spermatophytes, where both the ovules and the seeds are not covered or enclosed. They are generally woody plants, What trees and shrubs.

As for its leaves, they are usually simple, mainly small and acicular or needle-shaped. Furthermore, with few exceptions, the leaves of angiosperms are evergreen. They are also known or identified more easily because they do not have true flowers.

In addition, in some species the seeds have a wing to allow dispersion by the wind, this type of structure is known as samara. Therefore, both pollination and fertilization are a slow process that can take more than a year.

Examples of gymnosperm plants

¿What are gymnosperm plants? Here are several examples:

  • Cedar
  • Pine tree
  • Cypress
  • Redwoods
  • Ginkgo
  • Araucaria
  • Sabina
  • Pine tree
  • Douglasia
  • Larch
  • Fern
  • Juniper
  • Yew
  • Tsugas
  • Spruce
  • Fir tree
  • Larches
  • Araucaria
  • Cicada
  • Lleuque

You can learn more about these plants, trees and shrubs, with this link to our article on What are gymnosperm plants, their characteristics and examples and with the video below on this topic.

If you want to read more articles similar to Difference between angiosperms and gymnosperms, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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