Classifying Plants

Nonvascular: have no vessels, no roots, no stems or leaves. Examples: Mosses & Liverworts

Vascular: have vessels to transport food and water. They have roots, stems and leaves. Example: Grass, corn, trees, flowers, bushes

Xylem: transports water
Phloem: transports food & nutrients


  • "naked seeds"
  • cone bearing plants (seeds grow on cones)
  • needle like leaves
  • usually stay green year round
  • wind pollinated
  • Examples: pine trees & evergreens


  • flowering plants
  • seeds are enclosed in a fruit
  • most are pollinated by birds & bees
  • have finite growing seasons
  • Examples: grasses, tulips, oaks, dandelions
  • Divided into two main groups: Monocots & Dicots


  • Angiosperms have have 1 seed leaf (cotyledon)
  • parallel veins on leaves
  • 3 part symmetry for flowers
  • fibrous roots
  • Example: lilies, onions, corn, grasses, wheat



  • Angiosperms that have 2 seed leaves (cotyledons)
  • net veins on leaves
  • flowers have 4-5 parts
  • taproots
  • Examples: trees and ornamental flowers


Parts of the Plant


  • water and minerals are absorbed (taproots vs fibrous roots)
  • also used to anchor the plant
  • movement of water up to leaves is influenced by TRANSPIRATION


  • Support plant
  • transport water through xylem
  • transport nutrients through phloem
  • a celery stalk soaked in food coloring will absorb the food coloring, you can see the xylem
  • Two types of stems: herbacious and woody


  • Photosynthetic organ of the plant, used to convert sunlight into food
  • Photosynthesis Equation:
  • Stomata: pores within the leaf that open to let CO2 in and O2 out. Guard cells open and close.
  • Cuticle: waxy covering on leaf that prevents water loss


  • Reproductive organ of the plant
  • Flowers are usually both male and female
  • The male part of the flower is the STAMEN
  • The female part of the flower is the PISTIL
  • See your coloring sheet for more detail on flower anatomy

Plant Reproduction

  • Pollen is produced by the stamen.
  • Pollen moves away from the plant via the wind or other pollinators (birds & bees)
  • The pollen lands on the pistil of another plant and fertilizes the eggs within the ovary
  • The flower petals fall off, the ovary develops into a FRUIT that encloses the seeds
  • Fruits are dispersed in a variety of ways (wind, animals)
  • Fruits are not always edible, anything with a seed inside can be considered a fruit (helicopters, acorns, dandelions)

Asexual Reproduction in Plants

  • Many plants can clone themselves, a process called VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION
  • strawberry plants and other vine like plants send out runners, which grow into new plants
  • some plant clippings will grow into new plants
  • a Potato will grow into a new plant

How Plants Grow

  • Germination occurs when a seed sprouts (usually caused by changes of temperature and moisture)
  • Monocots have 1 seed leaf (cotyledon), Dicots have 2 seed leaves


  • Perennials - live serval years, and reproduce many times, woody plants are perennials
  • Annuals - a plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season (grows, flowers, reproduces and then dies)
  • Biennials - takes two growing seasons to complete, it reproduces in the second growing season
  • Plants grow only at their tips in regions called MERISTEMS
  • PRIMARY GROWTH makes a plant taller at roots and stems
  • SECONDARY GROWTH makes a plant wider, or adds woody tissue
  • Tree Rings tell the age of a tree, each ring represents a growing season. The photo shows a tree who has been through four growing seasons. The lighter thinner rings are winter periods.
  • VASCULAR CAMBIUM: area of the tree that makes more xylem and phloem and forms the annual rings