So with that kind of diversity, the big question is, how do you exactly start to classify them? Good thing botanists have already devised ways to classify them. In fact, classifying plants is considered as one of the oldest approaches in studying botany.
In general, botanists group plants into two major groups: non-vascular and vascular. The former being composed of early plants while the latter consists of plants which had developed a vascular system.
However, this kind of grouping seems to be very general and covers a wide variety of scope. The more commonly used plant classification is the more specific one: by classifying them into different phyla.
Types of Plants
The first classification of plants is the non-vascular plants; As their name implies, nonvascular plants lack vascular tissues that can help them transport water and nutrients. Nonvascular plants are considered to be the earliest living plants in the planet. However, fossils have not been found because these types of plants fossilized poorly. The most common non-vascular plants include the members of the Phylum Bryophyta and is described below.
Bryophytes – Moss plants in Iceland The Phylum Bryophyta, are the most diverse group with more than 10,000 plant species. This phylum include the mosses, liverworts, and hornworts.Among all plant phyla, the members of the Phylum Bryophyta are considered as the simplest. Regarding physical appearance, mosses are small and inconspicuous. Bryophytes lack vascular tissue and wood that can render them structural support. They also lack true leaves, stem, and roots that can help them transport water and nutrients. Because of this, they are limited to a narrow range of habitats. Regarding habitats and physical structures, bryophytes are related to lichens (symbiotic relationship between a fungus and algae). For instance, both of them utilize the moisture in the environment to transport minerals and nutrients.Because of that, bryophytes live in moist places and somehow have adapted several methods that can help them thrive in dry periods.At present, the classification of some species of bryophytes remains arbitrary and is up for further studies.Bryophyte Examples
Also the next classification of plants is also known as the tracheophytes, vascular plants have been allowed by evolution to possess vascular tissues (xylem and phloem) that aid them to transport water and minerals. All other plants like the members of the Phylum Pteridophyta, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms are classified as vascular plants. The said plant phyla are described below.
The next phylum in this list is the Phylum Pteridophyta which is composed of almost 12,000 (with over two-thirds are tropical) species of true ferns and fern allies.Pteridophytes are seedless plants; being such, they are incapable of passing on their genetic material to their offspring using cones, fruits, or seeds. Instead, this classification of plants produces spores that are located on the underside of their leaves known as sporophylls.Pteridophytes can catapult their spores even at long distances because of the spring-like structures of these sporangia-containing spores. Regarding physical appearance, pteridophytes are extremely diverse, and no single characteristic can describe them. Leaves of ferns are called fronds, which typically are coiled until they unroll at maturity. They also have horizontal stems called rhizomes and have simple leaves roots. Unlike bryophytes, they are already vascular plants and capable of transporting fluids.Pteridophyte Examples