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Characteristics

In this section you will learn about the major characteristics of the gymnosperm.

    The gymnosperm is a seed-bearing vascular plant that does not bear flowers. The gymnosperm is either woody plant, trees, shrubs, but seldom vines. Many of them are very large in size. Gymnosperms are borne upon seed scales arranged in cones.

    Gymnosperms are the most ancient seed plants that we know of. The gymnosperms appear to have arisen from the fern ancestors in the Devonian Period.

    They are arranged in four different phyla: Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Pinophyta, and Gnetphyta. The Cycads and the Gnetophytes are mainly tropical to subtropical. Although the Cycad and Gingko are now extinct relatives.

    To help conserve water evergreens have needles ( flat leaves) with a waxy coating. An evergreen is known as a confier. Which are trees or shrubs that bear seeds in cones. 

    Below is a picture of a pine cone's inside. If you look closely at picture (A) you can see the seeds. Picture (B) is a picture of a Ponderosa Pine tree.

gym1.jpg (296386 bytes) A.) A pine cone's insides

gym2.jpg (80434 bytes)  B.) A Ponderosa Pine tree

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