20 Difference Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms (With Table)

Taxonomy is a branch of science that deals with the classification of living organisms in a systematic manner. There are about seven taxonomic levels in classification such as kingdom, phylum or division, class, family, order, genus, and species. 

According to classification, the kingdom is the second highest taxonomic rank. There are about six kingdoms in classification as Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Archaea, and bacteria. 

Kingdom Plantae consists of all plants. These plants are eukaryotic, multicellular, and autotrophic organisms. Besides that, they have rigid cell walls, chloroplasts, and chlorophyll pigment that facilitate photosynthesis. 

Plantae kingdom is further subdivided into Angiosperm, Gymnosperm, Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, and Thallophyta. But many learners find it challenging to differentiate angiosperm from gymnosperm. 

So, what is the main difference between angiosperm and gymnosperm? Angiosperms are flowering plants whose seeds are enclosed in fruit while gymnosperms are non-flowering plants whose seeds are naked

This article provides further explanation about gymnosperms and angiosperms examples. You will also learn about the similarities between angiosperms and gymnosperms for faster understanding. 

Comparison Table (Angiosperm Vs Gymnosperm)

Basic Terms Angiosperms Gymnosperms
Definition These are flowering and seed-producing plants whose seeds are enclosed in the ovary. These are non-flowering and seed-producing plants whose seeds are not enclosed in the ovary.
Pollination Process Insects Wind
Examples Orchids, lilies, roses, sunflower, maple trees, oak trees. Pine trees, conifers, firs, spruce trees, ginkgo, cactus, and cycads.
Root System Taproot and other root modifications. Has taproot only.
Branch Types One type of branch Two types of branches i.e long and dwarf shoot.
Endosperm Derived from fertilization of the sperm nucleus which results in triploid. Derived from female gametophyte which forms haploid.
Stomata True stomata Have sunken stomata
Flowers Possess flowers Do not flower.
Vascular Vessels Well-developed vessels for conducting water and minerals. Lack of developed vessels except for phylum that transport water.
Companion cells Have companion cells Lack of companion cells
Fertilization Double fertilization results in a zygote and endosperm Occur in the ovules which results in a zygote.
Leaves Needle-like leaves Flat leaves
Gametophyte Structures The male and female gametophyte is part of the flower Male and female are present but separate.
Life cycle Sporophyte generation Alternation of generations
Mature pollen It has two sperm nuclei. Have three cells i.e one tube cell and two sperm.
Nuclei It has a total of 8 nuclei where the embryo sac consist of a mature megagametophyte consists of 7 cells. It has a large egg nucleus where a mature gametophyte contains 2-3 archegonia.
Archegonia Absent Present
Sporophylls Occur to develop flowers Occur to form cones
Bisexual/ Unisexual Tend to be bisexual and rarely unisexual. Cones are unisexual and rarely bisexual.
Cotyledons    Present Absent

What Are Angiosperms?

Angiosperms are seed-bearing plants that have seeds enclosed in an ovary. These flowering plants comprise trees, herbs, and shrubs.

According to research, there are over 300000 species of angiosperms on the earth’s surface and this implies that they are about 80% of the Plantae kingdom.

The most amazing thing about angiosperms is that they have a well-developed root system that is able to take in water and vital minerals.

Angiosperms are marked by softwood, non-perennial, flat leaves, triploid tissues, bisexual, and the presence of cotyledons.

Examples of angiosperms include; orchids, lilies, roses, sunflowers, maple trees, oak trees, and other fruit-bearing trees.

What Are Gymnosperms?

Gymnosperms are seeding-bearing plants whose seeds are not enclosed inside the ovary. These plants do not produce flowers or fruits instead seeds that are exposed to the surface.

According to research, there are about 1000 plants that belong to this subgroup of the Plantae kingdom. The most wonderful thing is that they tend to live for long and stay green throughout the year.

They have a well-developed root system whose main function is to offer anchor and absorb water as well as minerals from the soil.

The stems help to transport food to other parts. Besides that, they do not have ovaries and stigma.

Some of the common features of gymnosperms are hardwood, haploid tissues, perennial, needle-like leaves, and the absence of cotyledons.

The main examples of gymnosperms are pine trees, conifers, firs, spruce trees, ginkgo, cactus, and cycads.

Main Difference between Angiosperm and Gymnosperm 

  1. Angiosperms are flowering plants while gymnosperms are non-flowering plants.
  2. Angiosperms have flat leaves while gymnosperms have needle-like leaves.
  3. Gymnosperms have softwood whereas angiosperms have hardwood.
  4. Angiosperms have flowers that are unisexual or bisexual while gymnosperms have flowers that are unisexual and naked.
  5. The reproductive organ of angiosperms is flowers while those of gymnosperms are cones or cones or strobilus.
  6. Flowers in angiosperms have sepals and petals while gymnosperms do not have petals or sepals.
  7. The main cause of pollination in angiosperms is insects while in gymnosperm is wind pollination.
  8. The lifecycle of angiosperm is season whereas that of gymnosperms is perennial and evergreen.
  9. Angiosperms are the main source of hardwood while gymnosperm has softwood stems.
  10. Angiosperms have sporophylls that accumulate to form flowers while gymnosperm has sporophylls that accumulate to form cones.

Similarities between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

  1. Both ovules develop into seeds
  2. Both have a well-developed embryo
  3. Both plants experience pollination
  4. Both have anomalous secondary thickening
  5. The sporophyte is differentiated in both
  6. Both have diploid sporophyte

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Both gymnosperms and angiosperms belong to the Plantae kingdom. Angiosperms tend to occur in plenty when compared to gymnosperms.

Therefore, angiosperms tend to dominate the terrestrial surface and they are regarded to be the main source of hardwood.

I hope the core difference between angiosperms and gymnosperms has been useful. Use the comment section to share your views and suggestions.

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