AskDefine | Define spermatophyte

Dictionary Definition

spermatophyte n : plant that reproduces by means of seeds not spores [syn: phanerogam, seed plant]

Extensive Definition

The spermatophytes (from the Greek word "Σπερματόφυτα") (also known as phanerogams) comprise those plants that produce seeds. They are a subset of the embryophytes or land plants. The living spermatophytes form five groups:
In addition to the taxa listed above, the fossil record contains evidence of many extinct taxa of seed plants. The so-called "seed ferns" (Pteridospermae) were one of the earliest successful groups of land plants, and forests dominated by seed ferns were prevalent in the late Paleozoic. Glossopteris was the most prominent tree genus in the ancient southern supercontinent of Gondwana during the Permian period. By the Triassic period, seed ferns had declined in ecological importance, and representatives of modern gymnosperm groups were abundant and dominant through the end of the Cretaceous, when angiosperms radiated. Another Late Paleozoic group of probable spermatophytes were the gigantopterids.

Relationships and nomenclature

see Evolutionary history of plants Seed-bearing plants were traditionally divided into angiosperms, or flowering plants, and gymnosperms, which includes the gnetophytes, cycads, ginkgo, and conifers. Older morphological studies have shown a close relationship between the gnetophytes and the angiosperms, in particular based on vessel elements. However, molecular studies (and some more recent morphological and fossil papers) have generally shown a clade of gymnosperms, with the gnetophytes in or near the conifers. For example, one common proposed set of relationships is known as the gne-pine hypothesis and looks like:
The relationships between these groups should not be considered settled.
A traditional classification grouped put all the seed plants in a single division, with classes for our five groups:
A more modern classification ranks these groups as separate divisions (sometimes under the Superdivision Spermatophyta):


spermatophyte in Arabic: شعبة البذريات
spermatophyte in Min Nan: Chéng-chí si̍t-bu̍t
spermatophyte in Bulgarian: Семенни растения
spermatophyte in Catalan: Espermatòfit
spermatophyte in Czech: Semenné rostliny
spermatophyte in Danish: Frøplanter
spermatophyte in German: Samenpflanzen
spermatophyte in Estonian: Seemnetaimed
spermatophyte in Spanish: Spermatophyta
spermatophyte in French: Spermatophyta
spermatophyte in Irish: Spermatophyta
spermatophyte in Korean: 종자식물
spermatophyte in Croatian: Sjemenjače
spermatophyte in Italian: Spermatophyta
spermatophyte in Hebrew: צמחי זרע
spermatophyte in Georgian: თესლოვანი მცენარეები
spermatophyte in Kurdish: Riwekên tovdar (Spermatophyta)
spermatophyte in Latvian: Sēklaugi
spermatophyte in Hungarian: Virágos növények
spermatophyte in Dutch: Zaadplanten
spermatophyte in Dutch Low Saxon: Zaodplaanten
spermatophyte in Japanese: 種子植物
spermatophyte in Norwegian: Blomsterplanter
spermatophyte in Polish: Rośliny nasienne
spermatophyte in Portuguese: Espermatófita
spermatophyte in Quechua: Muruyuq
spermatophyte in Russian: Семенные растения
spermatophyte in Slovenian: Semenke
spermatophyte in Finnish: Siemenkasvit
spermatophyte in Swedish: Fröväxter
spermatophyte in Vietnamese: Thực vật có hạt
spermatophyte in Turkish: Tohumlu bitkiler
spermatophyte in Ukrainian: Насінні
spermatophyte in Venetian: Piante da fior
spermatophyte in Chinese: 种子植物
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