The hatchet gymnosperm (“naked seeds”) represents 4 extant divisions of vascular plants whose ovules (seeds) space exposed on the surface of cone scales. The cone-bearing gymnosperms are among the largest and also oldest life organisms in the world. They overcame the landscape about 200 million year ago. Today gymnosperms are of great economic worth as significant sources of wood products, pulpwood, turpentine, and resins.

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Cycad (Cycas revoluta).
Knut Norstog

The ginkgophytes (division Ginkgophyta), back abundant, diverse, and also widely distributed in the past, are represented now by a single surviving species, Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree). The types was formerly limited to southeastern China, but it is now most likely extinct in the wild. The tree is generally cultivated worldwide, however, and also is particularly resistant to disease and wait pollution. The ginkgo is multibranched, with stems the are differentiated into lengthy shoots and also dwarf (spur) shoots. A swarm of fan-shaped deciduous pipeline with open dichotomous venation occurs at the finish of every lateral spur shoot. Sexes room separate, and distinct cones room not produced. Mrs trees create plumlike seeds v a fleshy outer layer and are noted for your foul smell once mature.


Leaves and fruit that the mrs ginkgo, or maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba).
John Kohout—Root Resources/Encyclopædia, Inc.

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The gnetophytes (division Gnetophyta) make up a group of three unusual genera. Ephedra occurs as a shrub in dry regions in tropical and temperate North and also South America and also in Asia, indigenous the Mediterranean Sea to China. Types of Gnetum happen as woody shrubs, vines, or broad-leaved trees and also grow in moist tropical woodlands of southern America, Africa, and also Asia. Welwitschia, limited to extreme deserts (less 보다 25 mm <1 inch> of rain every year) in a narrow belt around 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) lengthy in southwestern Africa, is an unusual plant created of an huge underground stem and a pair of long strap-shaped leaves that lie follow me the ground. The three genera differ from all various other gymnosperms in possessing vessel aspects (as compared with tracheids) in the xylem and in specializations in reproductive morphology. The gnetophytes have actually figured prominently in the theories around gymnospermous beginnings of the angiosperms.