“Gymnosperms”

Three older Phyla of seed plants whose ovules, and seeds, are incompletely covered by a sporophyll.

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“Gymnosperms”
• Three Phyla not closely related to Flowering Plants, nor to each other. • All widespread in Mesozoic,
– dinner for dinosaurs

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Phylum Coniferophyta
• Leaves needle-like or scale-like • Cones
– Sporophylls arranged around a stem – Usually woody, sometimes soft & fleshy
• Junipers, yews
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Phylum Coniferophyta
• Life cycle
– Ovules, and seeds, are incompletely covered by a sporophyll.

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Male & Female Cones

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Female cone
longitudinal section (l.s.)

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Conifer Life Cycle
• Time to develop seed
– Formation of male & female cones, release of pollen, Spring, year = 0 – Maturation of ovule, egg cells – Fertilization. Spring, year = 1 – Maturation of seeds – Seeds released, Spring, year = 2
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Uses of Conifers
• Economic use – Lumber, plywood
• Pine, redwood, spruce, fir, white cedar

– Pulp for paper – Resins, turpentine – Medicine
• Taxol from Taxus spp. (yews)
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Phylum Ginkgophyta
• Fan-shaped leaves
– Veins nearly parallel with dichotomous branching

• Thick swollen seed coat
– Butyric acid, foul smelling

• Ancient group unchanged in 200 million years
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Phylum Cycadophyta
• Stiff compound leaves • Vascular bundles spiral in stem • Cone-like reproductive bodies.

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Phylum Cycadophyta
• Web pages from Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney, Australia
– http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/PlantNet/cyca d/cycintro.html – http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/PlantNet/cyca d/cycadop.html

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