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Science >> Biology for Kids

Biology for Kids

Non-flowering Plants

Many plants have flowers that help them to make seeds in order to reproduce. You can learn about these plants on our flowering plants page. However, some plants do not use flowers to reproduce. These plants are called non-flowering plants.

There are two main groups of non-flowering plants. Plants that use spores to reproduce and plants that use seeds to reproduce. The non-flowering plants that use seeds are called gymnosperms.

The leaves (needles) of a
non-flowering spruce tree
Gymnosperms

Gymnosperm means "naked seeds". They are called this because their seeds are open to the air with no covering such as the seeds of flowering plants. One of the major groups of gymnosperm plants is the conifer.

Conifers

The word "conifers" means "bearing cones." Conifers are plants that use cones to house their seeds. Conifers are woody plants and most of them are trees such as pine trees, firs, cypresses, junipers, cedars, and redwoods.

Cones

Conifers reproduce using their cones. Some cones are male and some are female. The male cones release pollen. This pollen is carried by the wind. If the pollen lands on a female cone, then the female cone will produce seeds. The hard scales of the cone protect the new seeds as they grow.

Seeds

The seeds of a conifer are winged seeds. When they are released by the cone, they will float on the wind until they reach the ground where they will germinate and grow.

Spores

There are some non-flowering plants that don't produce seeds. Instead, they use spores to reproduce. Spore producing plants include plants such as mosses and ferns.

Spores are tiny organisms that usually contain only a single cell. Plants that make spores produce huge numbers of them. Because they are so small and light, they can be dispersed by the wind to new locations where they can grow.

Mosses

Mosses are soft and spongy plants that typically only grow a few inches tall. They tend to grow together in clumps. Mosses don't have flowers or seeds, but use spores to reproduce. They also don't have typical roots like most plants, but anchor themselves to rocks and soil with short growths called rhizoids.

Ferns

Another type of spore producing plant is the fern. Ferns produce spore casings on the underside of their leaves. These look like brown spots. At some point the casings dry out and the spores are released into the air.

Interesting Facts about Non-Flowering Plants Activities

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More Biology Subjects

Cell
The Cell
Cell Cycle and Division
Nucleus
Ribosomes
Mitochondria
Chloroplasts
Proteins
Enzymes

The Human Body
Human Body
Brain
Nervous System
Digestive System
Sight and the Eye
Hearing and the Ear
Smelling and Tasting
Skin
Muscles
Breathing
Blood and Heart
Bones
List of Human Bones
Immune System
Organs

Nutrition
Nutrition
Vitamins and Minerals
Carbohydrates
Lipids
Enzymes

Genetics
Genetics
Chromosomes
DNA
Mendel and Heredity
Hereditary Patterns
Proteins and Amino Acids

Plants
Photosynthesis
Plant Structure
Plant Defenses
Flowering Plants
Non-Flowering Plants
Trees
Living Organisms
Scientific Classification
Animals
Bacteria
Protists
Fungi
Viruses

Disease
Infectious Disease
Medicine and Pharmaceutical Drugs
Epidemics and Pandemics
Historical Epidemics and Pandemics
Immune System
Cancer
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Science >> Biology for Kids

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