Meaning of Gymnosperms

What is Gymnosperms:

Gymnosperms are all those vascular plants that have seeds but do not have flowers.

The word gymnosperms derives from the Greek γυμνός "Gymnos" and σπέρμα "Sperm", which collectively means "naked seed."

Gymnosperms are spermaphyte plants, that is, they are those plants that reproduce through seeds.

In this type of plant, the seeds are formed exposed in the flower, for that reason we speak of a “naked seed”, and not in a closed ovary that later develops into a fruit, as it happens in others.

There are about more than a thousand species of gymnosperm plants, which makes them highly diversified in nature and easy to find in different parts of the world, even in areas that are characterized by being quite cold.

According to various analyzes and studies, gymnosperms were among the first plants on Earth to produce seeds, a characteristic that also turned out to be very beneficial because they are pollinated through the wind without the need for water.

They are subdivided into four types of plants called pinophyta, ginkgophyta, cycadophyta, and gnetophyta.

Gymnosperm plants are what we know as pines, cedars, firs, sequoias, palms, ephedra, ginkgo, and cycades, among others.

Gymnosperm characteristics

Gymnosperm plants are characterized by the particularity of their sizes, types of leaves and flowers that they have. Among its main features are:

  • They are long-lived and tall plants. For example, a redwood tree can grow to a hundred meters high, thirty in diameter, and have an average age of over a thousand years.
  • They are woody plants with an arboreal appearance, that is, with roots, stems, leaves and seeds exposed by the flowers.
  • They do not have flowers or true fruits. For this reason its seeds can be found in the leaves or on the surface of the stems that, in some cases, form a cone or pineapple.
  • Its reproductive function is assumed by leaves that are shaped like scales.
  • These plants have female cones that produce seeds that are not covered or protected, and male cones that make pollen.
  • They have a very pleasant aroma, which in turn works to scare off insects.
  • Its branches tend to have a dichotomous shape.
  • The wood that these plants generate is extremely useful and appreciated for the manufacture of furniture and the construction of houses.
  • These plants are used to make cosmetic and medicinal products.

Gymnosperms and Angiosperms

Gymnosperm and angiosperm plants are two types of plants that inhabit the Earth and from which all living beings do not benefit in one way or another.

Gymnosperm plants are some of the oldest on Earth, it is believed that even before the appearance of dinosaurs. They are characterized by lacking fruits and flowers as such.

On the contrary, angiosperm plants are plants, also vascular, that do produce flowers and fruits where their seeds are found. They are found in large numbers in much of the planet.

The pollination process is characterized by being carried out through the work of insects, the wind or birds. Its fertilization occurs within the ovary, which matures and later becomes fruit.

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