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Flowering plants (or angiosperms) are a group of plants that possess the sexual reproductive organ called a flower. They also have true leaves, stems, and roots. The flowering plants are now assigned to the taxonomic phylum Magnoliophyta, which was formerly known as Anthophyta. They comprise the majority of familiar plants including most agricultural crops, trees, shrubs, grasses, garden plants, and weeds.
Flowering plants are generally categorized and monocots and dicots, referring to the number of initial leaves (cotyledons) that emerge from the seed. Monocots have just one cotyledon. There are commonly known as the grasses or cereal crops. Dicots have two.
Other important part of the plants anatomy include the roots, leaves, stem, petals, and sepals, each having specializations important for plant survival.
Flowering plants reproduce sexually, although many may also reproduce asexually. Several types of plants exist regarding the reproductive structures that they possess. They can have both male and female reproductive parts within the same flower, or on different flowers. A flower that contains all parts required for fertilization, as well as the pedals and sepals, is known as a complete or perfect flower. A plants with incomplete flowers that have only the male or female reproductive part is known as Monoecious (from Greek for "one household"). In contrast, dioecious ("two households") plants that have only male flowers or female flowers.
- Stamen: the male reproductive organ contains the anther and filament. The anther produces pollen.
- Pistil: the female reproductive organ is made up of the stigma, style and ovary. The sticky center of a flower is the stigma, which collects the pollen. The ovary holds all of the ovules, which become the seeds.
Unlike gymnosperms, which are fertilized primarily by wind, angiosperms are fertilized primarily by pollination. Insects, such as bees, play an important role. As they move from flower to flower collecting pollen or nectar, the pollen is transferred to other plants. This process is called cross-pollination and, although complete flowers can self pollinate, cross-pollination is the prefered method. Some flowers will regect their own pollen to achieve this, but will self-pollinate if they do not recieve pollen from another angiosperm.
- Main Article: Agriculture
Fruits come from flowering plants, making flowering plants a big part of agriculture. The actual fruit is the plant’s ovary containing seeds. Some of these fruits include: tomatoes, apples, strawberries, and bananas. Because people are trying to eat healthier, fruits have come into somewhat of a high demand.
Since the mid-1980’s flower growers in Latin America have been increasing the amount of flowers grown to send to wealthier nations. Flowers, including roses, gerbera daisies, and carnations, have been in high demand mainly as cut flowers, but also as plants for gardens. A bouquet of flowers or a garden full of flowers is very popular and well-known in America and many other wealthy countries. People like to look at and smell them.
Flowers require water, soil, and sunlight. The sunlight and water are required for the process of photosynthesis, which creates the chemical potential energy (glucose) for the majority of lifeforms on Earth. Soil is also important because it keeps the roots planted in the ground, and it gathers water and nutrients that are important for the plant’s survival.