What is the Difference Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

Angiosperms and gymnosperms are two types of seed-bearing plants that exhibit several similarities. This resemblance can be attributed to the fact that gymnosperms existed for approximately 200 million years before the evolution of angiosperms.

Angiosperms contain or bear closed seeds inside fruits, while gymnosperms contain/bear naked seeds(without seed coats). This article will deal with the clear difference between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms in tabular form for easy understanding.

Comparison Table: Angiosperms vs. Gymnosperms

DefinitionAngiosperms are flowering plants that produce seeds enclosed within an ovary.Gymnosperms are non-flowering plants that produce seeds not enclosed by an ovary.
Reproductive organsAngiosperms lack archegonia.Gymnosperms have female gametophytes containing archegonia.
Life cycleAngiosperms exhibit a seasonal lifecycle and typically die during autumn.Gymnosperms are evergreen, retaining foliage throughout the year.
EmbryoAngiosperms have embryos with one or two cotyledons.Gymnosperms may have embryos with one to several cotyledons.
ReproductionAngiosperms rely on animals for reproduction and seed dispersal.Gymnosperms rely on wind for reproduction and seed dispersal.
TissueAngiosperms have triploid tissue.Gymnosperms have haploid tissue.
LeavesAngiosperms have flat-shaped leaves.Gymnosperms have leaves that are scale-like or needle-like.
WoodAngiosperms produce hardwood.Gymnosperms produce softwood.
UsesAngiosperms are used for various purposes, including food, clothing, and more.Gymnosperms are used for applications such as paper, lumber, and more.
The important Difference Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

Comparison Chart:

What is the Difference Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms
Fig: Difference-Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

Major differences Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

  • Angiosperms produce enclosed seeds (within the seed coats), flowers and fruits, while gymnosperms produce naked seeds(without seed coats) and do not produce fruits or flowers.
  • So, this is the key or major difference between angiosperms and gymnosperms. In addition, gymnosperms produce proper male and female cones, while angiosperms do not produce any cones.
  • Moreover, a further difference between angiosperms and gymnosperms is that the angiosperms carry out double fertilization(Two Sperm are involved in this type of fertilization). In contrast, in gymnosperms, double fertilization can not take place.
  • When considering their sperms or analyzing their sperms with EM, then the sperms of gymnosperms contain flagella, while sperms of angiosperms do not contain flagella. A short difference is shown in the tabular form table Above.

Major Similarities Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

  • Angiosperms and gymnosperms are seed-producing plants.
  • Both groups are also vascular plants.
  • The dominant plant body of both groups is the sporophyte, so both have a short or reduced gametophytic phase.
  • Both groups of plants have well-developed plant structures.
  • Moreover, both types are heterosporous(producing two types of spores.

What are Angiosperms?

Angiosperms or anthophytes (FLOWER BEARING PLANTS) are the most advanced plants in the kingdom Plantae that are abundant in their number. The dominant plant body in angiosperms is the sporophyte, which may be dioecious (Male and Female flowers on different plants) or monoecious (Male and Female flowers on the same plants).

The sporophyte(Dominant plant body) consists of a highly differentiated true stem, leaves and roots. They also contain well-Seen(well-developed) vascular tissues seen easily with LM or the Naked eye.

Angiosperms vs. Gymnosperms

Moreover, the xylem contains vessel members and tracheids, and the phloem contains sieve tube elements and companion cells. They contain a highly differentiated reproductive structure, the flower (the plant’s reproductive part).

Furthermore, the anthophytes(FLOWER BEARING PLANTS) are heterosporous (Having two types of spores, i.e., Microspores and megaspores). The ovules are developed within the ovary. The ovaries develop or form from folding megasporophylls called carpels(Colorful petals).

Moreover, angiosperms flower have a pollen tube that carries male nuclei or gametes toward the ovum(egg). Therefore, there is no need for external water or internal fluids for fertilization(Fusion of Male and Female Gametes). Thus, the spermatozoids or sperms are non-motile(without flagella).

The most important thing is that double fertilization occurs in angiosperms, forming a diploid embryo(2n) and a triploid endosperm(used as food for newly growing plants). Also, they can produce true seeds enclosed inside the fruit or have seed coats.

Furthermore, the angiosperms have well-defined mechanical tissue. They have a well-developed vascular system with vessels, sieves and companion cells.

They also have a highly differentiated plant body into roots, stems and leaves. In addition, they have well-developed cuticles and seeds. All these characteristics have made them more suitable for terrestrial life.

Key points about Angiosperms:

  • 🌸 Angiosperms are the most advanced plants in the Plantae kingdom.
  • 🌿 They have a highly differentiated plant body and well-developed vascular tissues.
  • 🌱 Angiosperms can be dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants) or monoecious (male and female flowers on the same plant).
  • 🌺 They produce flowers as their reproductive structures, which are involved in reproduction.
  • 🍎 Angiosperms produce enclosed seeds inside fruits.
  • 🌼 Double fertilization occurs in angiosperms, forming a diploid embryo and a triploid endosperm.
  • 🌳 They have well-defined mechanical tissue and a well-developed vascular system.
  • 🌻 Angiosperms have a wide variety of species and are abundant in number.

What are Gymnosperms?

Gymnosperms are seed-bearing plants that include conifers, cycads, ginkgo, and Gnetales (Gnetum). The dominant plant body in gymnosperms is a sporophyte well differentiated into leaves, stems and roots. Mechanical and vascular tissue are present in these plants. Moreover, gymnosperms(Naked seed plants) have two types of leaves.

What is the Difference Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms
  • Vegetative leaves are large and pinnately compound, and they are needle-like in appearance to reduce the rate of transpiration.
  • Young leaves show circinate vernation, and gentum has fern-like leaves.

Also, these are dioecious plants; the female plant bears a crown of megasporophylls, while the male plant bears microsporophylls in a cone. Here, the megasporophylls bear naked or exposed ovules on their lateral margin. And these naked ovules become seeds after fertilization.

Besides, similar to angiosperms, gymnosperms are also heterosporous. Both male and female gametophytes are small and dependent on the sporophyte. Also, no external water is necessary for their fertilization. The seed germinates to give rise to the sporophyll.

A common example of cycads is cycas. Cycas sporophyte resembles a palm. It possesses a taproot system with secondary roots branching off. Some roots of gymnosperms, called coralloid roots, are negatively geotropic.

In the cortex of these roots, there are cyanobacteria living symbiotically. The stem is pillar-like and bears a crown of leaves at the apex. The stem is full of leaf scars and shows secondary thickenings as well.

Key points about Gymnosperms:

  • 🌿 Gymnosperms are the most primitive group of seed plants, while angiosperms are the most highly evolved plants.
  • 🌲 Gymnosperms are woody plants that do not bear flowers, while angiosperms are flowering plants.
  • 🍃 Gymnosperms have naked or exposed seeds borne on structures called cones, while angiosperms have seeds enclosed within an ovary that matures into a fruit.
  • 🍁 Gymnosperms have scale-like or needle-like leaves, while angiosperms have flat-shaped leaves.
  • 🌳 Gymnosperms are used for timber, building construction, resin, and paper manufacture, while angiosperms are used as food, oils, spices, beverages, medicines, and timber.
  • 🌼 Gymnosperms have haploid tissue, while angiosperms have triploid tissue.
  • 🌱 Gymnosperms have unisexual cones, while angiosperms have bisexual flowers.
  • 🌰 Gymnosperms have an ovule covered by a 3-layered massive integument, while angiosperms have an ovule covered by 1 or 2 thin integuments.
  • 🌻 Gymnosperms have male gametophytes with prothalial cells, a tube cell, a stalk cell, and a body cell, while angiosperms have male gametophytes with a tube cell and a generative cell.
  • 🌾 Gymnosperms are found in temperate and tropical regions, while angiosperms occur in various environments except the sea.

Summary – Angiosperms vs. Gymnosperms

The key difference between angiosperms and gymnosperms is their reproductive structures and seed characteristics. Angiosperms have flowers and fruits, enclosed seeds inside fruits, and undergo double fertilization, while gymnosperms lack flowers, have naked seeds, and do not undergo double fertilization. Both groups are vascular plants with well-developed plant structures and are heterosporous, producing two types of spores.


What are angiosperms and gymnosperms?

Angiosperms and gymnosperms are two major groups of plants. Angiosperms, or flowering plants, produce seeds enclosed within a protective structure called a fruit. Conversely, Gymnosperms are non-flowering plants that bear naked seeds on the surface of specialized structures called cones.

How do angiosperms and gymnosperms differ in terms of reproduction?

Angiosperms reproduce through sexual reproduction, where the male pollen from the flower’s stamen fertilizes the female ovules in the pistil. The fertilized ovules develop into seeds within the fruit. Gymnosperms, however, have a more direct reproductive process. Their male cones produce pollen carried by wind or insects to the female cones. Fertilization occurs directly between the male and female cones, resulting in the formation of seeds.

What are some examples of angiosperms and gymnosperms?

Angiosperms contain many plants, including trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowering plants. Some well-known examples of angiosperms are roses, sunflowers, orchids, and oak trees. Gymnosperms include coniferous trees such as pines, spruces, and firs. Other examples of gymnosperms are cycads, ginkgo trees, and yews.

How do angiosperms and gymnosperms differ in terms of leaf structure?

Angiosperms generally have broad, flat leaves with a complex network of veins. Their leaves often have a wide range of shapes and sizes, allowing them to adapt to various environments. In contrast, gymnosperms often have needle-like or scale-like leaves. These leaves are usually thick and waxy, helping conserve water in dry or cold conditions.

References and Sources

  • Gymnosperm (naked seeds plant) Book By By V.P. Singh · 2006
  • https://byjus.com/biology/angiosperms-and-gymnosperms-difference
  • https://www.toppr.com/guides/biology/difference-between/angiosperms-and-gymnosperms
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnosperm
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowering_plant

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