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plants that produce seeds

Seed-bearing plants

Plants are living:

  • They grow and die.
  • They produce new individuals.
  • They are made of cells.
  • They need energy, nutrients, air and water.
  • They respond to their environment.

Plants are different to animals partly because they use the energy from sunlight through a process called photosynthesis (although there are a few plants that don’t). Plant cells have much in common with animal cells, but they have some different structures.

There are many different kinds of plants. Just take a walk in the garden or bush to see the amazing variety. Botanists organise the plant kingdom into groups based on features found in different plants.

Plants are divided into two big groups, based on how they reproduce:

  • Plants that produce seeds (flowering plants and cone plants).
  • Plants that produce spores (ferns, mosses, liverworts and green algae).

Seed plants have special structures on them (flowers or cones) where special male and female cells join through a process called fertilisation. After fertilisation, a tiny plant called an embryo is formed inside a seed. The seed protects the embryo and stores food for it. The seed is dispersed away from the parent plant, and when conditions are right, the embryo germinates and grows into a new plant.

There are two main groups of seed plants:

  • Gymnosperms – plants with cones.
  • Angiosperms – plants with flowers.

Gymnosperms

These seed plants do not have flowers or fruit – their seeds are held in cones. Next time you pick up a pine cone, look for loose seeds inside. Male cones make pollen, which is carried to female cones by the wind. After the female gametes are fertilised by male gametes from the pollen, the female cones produce seeds. These are then scattered away from the plant by wind or animals.

Most gymnosperms are trees. There are about 20 native gymnosperms in New Zealand, including our tallest tree, the kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, white pine). Others include mataī (Prumnopitys taxifolia, black pine), tōtara (Podocarpus totara), rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum, red pine) and kauri (Agathis australis). The main tree that makes up New Zealand’s plantation forests is the exotic gymnosperm Pinus radiata.

Angiosperms

Angiosperms produce flowers, which are special structures for reproduction. They contain male parts that make pollen and female parts that contain ovules. Some plants have these male and female parts in different flowers. Pollen is carried from a male part to a female part by wind or animals (a process called pollination), where it releases male gametes that fertilise the female gametes in the ovules. The ovules develop into seeds, from which new plants will grow. In most angiosperms , part of the flower develops into fruit, which protects the seeds inside them. Fruit can be soft like oranges or hard like nuts.

Flowering plants form the biggest group of seed plants, with about 300,000 species around the world – that’s 90% of the whole plant kingdom. New Zealand has about 2,000 native angiosperms , and an amazing 25,000 introduced species found mainly in gardens, farms and orchards.

Flowering plants are all around us, even if sometimes we don’t recognise them as having flowers. We all know the showy flowers of native kōwhai, flax and pōhutakawa and all those lovely coloured flowers in our gardens, but the tall toetoe and the grasses in our lawns are also flowering plants.

Plants are living:

What Are Some Examples of Plants With Seeds?

By: Sophie Johnson

21 September, 2017

Plants that produce seeds are either gymnosperms, which make seeds in cones, or angiosperms, which create seeds with flowers. This means that all conifers and all flowering plants bear seeds. Gymnosperms and angiosperms reproduce sexually; that is, they have male and female aspects. Pollen, for instance, contains “male” sperm that must fertilize “female” ovules for successful reproduction to occur. The outcome of that reproduction is seed.

Anise

Anise is an herb plant that is grown for its seeds, which have a licorice flavor. The plant is an annual, which means it completes its life in one season–germinating, producing clusters of flowers and then seeding. The plant grows about 2 feet high, enjoying full sun and a well-draining soil. Seedheads are harvested when they turn pale gray.

  • Plants that produce seeds are either gymnosperms, which make seeds in cones, or angiosperms, which create seeds with flowers.
  • The plant is an annual, which means it completes its life in one season–germinating, producing clusters of flowers and then seeding.

Caraway

Caraway is another herb that produces seeds for eating. The plant is a biennial, living its life in the space of two growing seasons. The first season, caraway produces vegetation. During its second and last season, the plant reaches its full height of about 2 feet and flowers with small white blooms, which create seeds that ripen to brown by the middle of the summer. At that point, the seeds can be harvested and the plant dies. Like anise, caraway is a sun-lover that likes well-drained soil. It doesn’t do well along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

  • Caraway is another herb that produces seeds for eating.
  • The plant is a biennial, living its life in the space of two growing seasons.

Mimosa

Mimosas are trees originally from Asia that, as members of the legume family of plants, produce seeds in pods. Before producing the seed pods, the tree blooms in clusters of flowers that look like spiky pink pom-poms. In some places, the tree is considered invasive due the tree’s ability to sprout back from being cut, the fact that it’s a non-native of the United States, and the way it can establish itself apart from where it was originally planted. Seeds can stay viable for decades. Still, its interesting appearance makes the tree a popular ornamental.

Tomatoes

Tomato plants, like many plants grown for food, have obvious seeds contained within the fruit. The fruit of flowering plants is actually a mature ovule. Of the three types of tomatoes–determinates, semideterminates and indeterminates–indeterminates are easiest to grow. These are vining tomatoes, producing fruit until frost puts a stop to it. Determinates and semideterminates are bushy, the first growing up to about 18 inches, the latter growing up to 2 feet high. Both stop producing fruit when they’ve achieved full height.

Plants that produce seeds are either gymnosperms, which make seeds in cones, or angiosperms, which create seeds with flowers. This means that all conifers and all flowering plants bear seeds. Gymnosperms and angiosperms reproduce sexually; that is, they have male and female aspects. Pollen, for instance, contains …