Learn about kinds of plants. Plants comprise a big part of our diet and there are several ways of categorizing the different kinds.
Kinds of plants are more formally categorized based on their families, phylogeny and morphology. Some plants are minuscule and can only be properly viewed under the microscope. These include the plants that grow underwater and provide nourishment to fish.
Flowering plants are the most evolved kinds of plants because they come from seeds and can form seeds to reproduce. But the ancient counterparts of flowering plants did not form seeds. Ferns are the ancient forms of plants that have remained until now. The morphology of ferns is the simplest among plants. Unlike flowering plants, which are the most advanced kinds of plants, ferns replicate the reproduction pattern of mosses. Instead of seeds, ferns produce haploid spores.
Gymnosperm plants are the pines and other forest trees we see in mountains. They reproduce by producing cones, which in turn contain the main reproduction unit of the tree. These trees resemble some fern species, but the similarities are only superficial.
Plants can also be categorized based on the presence of woody stem. According to this criterion, there are two kinds of plants.
Herbaceous plants are those that maintain their development for a certain period of time, in the case of biennials and annuals, before they die. These plants usually have no permanent woody structures above the ground, although some of these kinds of plants tend to grow secondary tissues over their stems and even form bark.
There are three kinds of plants that belong to the herbaceous type. These are annuals, biennials and perennials. Annual herbaceous plants develop to maturity in a year’s time. They are often sown as seeds into the ground and produce leaves and flowers within months. Some annuals take longer to bear fruit because of an extended vegetative phase, while others have a shorter vegetative stage and longer flowering phase. Some perennial plants that can’t stand the chill of winter are considered perennials with annual life cycles.
Biennials are kinds of plants belonging to the herbaceous group that develop and complete their reproductive phases in two year’s time. There are also perennials among the group, and these plants could last for more than three years.
A woody plant can be tree or shrub which persists for the long term. Some woody plants stay in one place forever, as long as they are not uprooted by natural means or by humans looking for timber. During the spring, these kinds of plant develop flowers, which subsequently develop into fruit during the harvest season. Leaves of these plants grow back after the winter is over.
Some woody plants are called arborescent because they have one main stem and can continue growing up to more than 12 feet. Some trees when given the right environment, can grow taller. Competition between species for resources, i.e. soil nutrients and water, may contribute to the height of these woody plants. Shrubs are also called woody perennials because they tend to hibernate during the winter and then bear leaves again during spring. Their main trunks persist above ground even through rain and snow.