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Learn Classification of Plants

Plants are autotrophic and photosynthetic to make their own food. Primarily terrestrial organisms descended from green algae, which is multicellular. Growth is indeterminate and adapted to gather diffuse resources. Roots consist of simple repeated units exhibiting serial homology. New tissues and organs are formed at meristems. These are hydrostatic in nature. Plants have complex reproductive cycles involving the alternation of generations. Plants defend themselves without moving. Plants have a cell wall that is made up of cellulose and many other components. Plants have chloroplast and vacuole has the ability to store excretion waste.  300,000 species of plants; examples of plants include shrubs, trees, and grasses. Plants play a vital role in our lives and the world’s ecosystems. Plants produce oxygen and are also essential in the food chain, as many living beings eat organisms that eat plants. The study of plants is called botany.


The plant kingdom has changed over time. Fungi and members of the Monera and Protista have now been excluded from Plantae through earlier classification and placed them in the same kingdom.

Plant Kingdom - Plantae

All the plants are included in the kingdom Plantae. They are multicellular, eukaryotic, and autotrophic organisms. The plant cells have rigid cell walls that protect them from external harmful materials. Plants have chlorophyll pigment, chloroplast which is held in photosynthesis.

Characteristics of Kingdom Plantae

The characteristics of the plant kingdom as follows;

  • They are non-movable and stay in one place their whole life.

  • They are autotrophs because plants make their own food. Plants reproduce in both, they reproduce by vegetative propagation or sexually. Plants have outer cell walls and a large central vacuole which helps to store waste products, that is why they are multicellular eukaryotes.

  • Plants have chlorophyll pigments which are responsible for the green colour and contain photosynthesis. 

  • Plants have different organelles for reproductions, support, anchorage, and photosynthesis. 

  • Plants show alternation of generation.

  • Plants have two phases of life; gametophyte and sporophyte.

Classification of Kingdom Plantae

The kingdom Plantae is further divided into subgroups. Classification is as follows:-

  1. Plant Body: 

Plants' body includes the presence or absence of a well-differentiated plant body. 


E.g. leaves, stems, and roots.

  1. Vascular System: 

It is a conducting tissue with a complicated network that interconnects all organs and transports, nutrients, water, minerals, organic compounds, and various signaling tissues throughout the body.


E.g. phloem and xylem.

  1. Seed Formation: 

The plant allows whether flowers and seeds or not, if it does, then it is surrounded by fruit or naked.


Basically, the plant kingdom is divided into two categories i.e. Cryptograms and Phanerogams.

Cryptograms and Phanerogams

Cryptograms are the plants that don't produce any kind of flower or in other words, non-flowering plants are known as cryptograms. Cryptograms are subdivided into three parts i.e. Thallophyta, Bryophyta, Pteridophyta. 


Phanerogams produce flowers or all the flowering plants come under into phanerogams, where these are also subdivided into two parts or seedling plants i.e. Gymnosperm, Angiosperms. 


Considering all these categories, the plant kingdom has been divided into five main subcategories. They are as above points follow. 

A. Thallophyta 

Thallophyta is one that is not well differentiated. They do not have well-differentiated plant parts, body structures. They do not have true stems, roots are absent. Thallophyta is multicellular or eukaryotic organisms which means they have well-defined cell membrane-bound organisms. They are non-motile. They have different pigments. These plants are called algae. 


They are mostly aquatic which is also edible and toxic.


E.g spirogyra, ulothrix, cladophora, ulva.

B.  Bryophyta 

Bryophyta is the amphibian of the plant kingdom. The body is differentiated into stem and leaves structures. Roots-like structures called Rhizoids are also present. They are autotrophic organisms. Specialized tissue for water and food conduction is absent. They are generally found in damp and moist areas. 


E.g. ricia, moss, Marchantia 

C. Pteridophyta 

Pteridophyta is the first terrestrial plant. They have well-defined plant bodies that are differentiated into roots, leaves, and stems. Leaves are made up of leaflets. Leaflets bear spores which are also known as Sporophylls. Well-developed reproductive organs are hidden. Specialized tissue for food and water conduction is present i.e. vascular tissue is present. Found in cracks of rock, moist and shady places. 


E.g. Marsilea and fern

D. Gymnosperm 

Gymnosperm is derived from the Greek word 

Gymno - without cover

Sperma -  seed 

i.e. seeds are without fruit. 


They are primitive and simple seed plants. Usually perennials, evergreen, and most woody plants. True roots, stems, and leaves are present. Xylem vessels are absent. Phloem companion cells are absent. 


E.g. Pines and deodar

E. Angiosperms 

Angiosperms are derived from the Greek word 

Angio - covered 

Sperma - seed 


These plants are highly involved plants. They produced seeds, enclosed within the fruit. They are flowering plants which means these plants produce flowers. Seeds are developed inside the ovary. Ovary gets modified into a fruit. Seeds have embryos inside them. Angiosperms are giant in size, they have very complicated tissue.


E.g. eucalyptus 

Division of Angiosperms

Monocotyledons: 

These are types of flowering parts whose embryo stores only one cotyledon, that's why they are called monocots. 


Dicotyledons: 

Dicotyledons are also called dicots, they are members of flowering plants that have cotyledons or pairs of leaves in the embryo of the seed. 


E.g. Campanulales, Urticales, Archichlamy 

Why Vedantu?

The chapter plant kingdom is the third chapter of the NCERT book and it covers in-depth the classification of plans. It deals with the classification of the kingdom Plantae, popularly known as the plant kingdom. Students wanting to get an edge in the classroom amongst their classmates should follow the explanations provided by expert teachers at Vedantu. Vedantu has curated all the study material and explained in depth the classification of plants along with doubts that would pop up in a student's mind.  The study material acts as a reference guide and helps in easy and effective revision before the examination. 


The plant kingdom/Plantae comes under the Five Kingdom classification viz. Monera, Protista, Fungi,Animalia and Plantae. We will study in-depth the five main subcategories of the plant kingdom that are thallophyta, bryophytea, pteriodophyta, gymnosperm, and angiosperms. These come from the two categories in which the plant kingdom is divided into, – cryptograms and phanerogams. Cryptograms are the type of plants that do not produce any kind of flower, also called non-flowering plants, thallophyta, bryophyte and pteridophyta come under the category of cryptograms. Phanerogams are called flowering plants, that is plants that produce flowers. Gymnosperms and angiosperms come under the category of phanerogams. 

Thallophyta - Thallophyta Is a plant that is not well differentiated. Their body structure is thallus-like. Their body structure is extremely primitive and simple. They do not have to stem roots. Thallophyta is multicellular which means they have well-defined cell membrane-bound organisms. They are nonmotile. These plants are called Algae. They are mostly aquatic.

Bryophytes - the amphibians of the plant kingdom. They have differentiated stems, leaves and roots and branches. Their roots are called rhizoids; they are autotrophic organisms. Special tissue for water and food conduction is absent; they generally reside in damp and moist areas. For example Moses, ricia, etc


Pteridophyta - It is the 1st terrestrial plant. They have well-defined plant bodies that are differentiated into roots, leaves and stems and leaves are made up of leaflets. Their leaves bear spores also known as sporophylls. Their vascular tissue is present, they have specialized tissue for food and water conduction and they are mostly found in cracks of rock moist and shady places. For example marsilea and fern.


Gymnosperms - This plant is primitive and they have a well-differentiated plant body and vascular tissue. Their seeds are without fruit as gymno means without cover and sperma means seed. For example cycas, pinus, and ephedra.


Angiosperms - Angio means covered and Sperma means seed. These plants are seed-bearing vascular plants that have a well-differentiated plant body. The seeds are enclosed within the fruits. These plants produce flowers. The seeds Are developed inside the ovary which then gets modified into a fruit. The seeds have embryos inside them. The angiosperm differs in size and they have complicated tissue.

Key Concepts Cleared in The Chapter Plant Kingdom:

3.1 Algae


3.1.1 Chlorophyceae


3.1.2 Phaeophyceae


3.1.3 Rhodophyceae


3.2 Bryophytes


3.2.1 Liverworts 3.2.2 Mosses 3.3 Pteridophytes


3.4 Gymnopsperms


3.5 Angiosperms

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FAQs on Classification of Plants

1. Which pigment is responsible for Photosynthesis in Plants. 

Chlorophyll is the pigment that is responsible for photosynthesis in plants.

2.  List the characteristics of Thallophyta. 

The characteristics are:

  • A eukaryotic and multicellular organism 

  • Not well-defined plant body structure 

  • Autotrophic and different pigments are present 

  • Mostly aquatic 

  • Thallophytes are called algae 

  • It may be edible and toxic.

3. Explain the special features of Gymnosperms. 

Gymnosperms are flowering plants that have well defined


A structure like roots, stems, leaves. They also bear seeds like angiosperm, but they are not enclosed within the fruit. Hence the term gymnosperm is derived from the Greek word; Gymno means naked and Sperma means seed.        

4. What are the characteristics of the plant kingdom?

The characteristics of the plant kingdom are as follows-

  • They are immotile, that is they stay in one place their whole life.

  • They are autotrophs because plants make their own food.

  • Plants can reproduce in both ways is by, vegetative propagation or sexually.

  • Multi-cell eukaryotes mean that cell walls and central vacuole of plants enable them to store waste.

  • Plants have chlorophyll pigments which are responsible for the green color and contain photosynthesis.

  • For reproductions, support, anchorage, and photosynthesis, plants possess different organelles.

  • Plants show alternation of generation.

  • Gametophyte and sporophyte - are the two phases of plant life.

5. What is the criterion for classifying plants?

The criteria for classifying plants are as follows-

Plant Body: it includes the presence or absence of a well-differentiated plant body. 


E.g. leaves, stems, and roots.


Vascular System: It is a conducting tissue with a complicated network that interconnects all organs and transports, nutrients, water, minerals, organic compounds, and various signaling tissues throughout the body.


E.g. phloem and xylem.


Seed Formation: The plant allows flowers and seeds or not, if it does, then it is surrounded by fruit or naked.

6. What are the two types of angiosperms?

The two types of angiosperms are as follows-

Monocotyledons: 

These are types of flowering parts whose embryos store only one cotyledon, that's why they are called monocots. 


Dicotyledons: 

These are also known as dicots, they are members of flowering plants that have cotyledons which are pairs of leaves in the embryo of the seed. 


E.g. Campanulales, Urticales, Archichlamy 

7. Define Plantae.

Plantae is also known as the Plant Kingdom. All the plants are included in the kingdom Plantae. They are multicellular, eukaryotic, and autotrophic organisms. The plant cells have rigid cell walls that protect them from external harmful materials. 

8. Where can I find the study material related to the classification of plants?

The study material related to the classification of plants is easily available on Vedantu’s website. The notes are tailored according to the needs of the students as the notes are very detailed and precise; they only focus on the main topic that is being talked about and don’t include any unnecessary information. These notes have been prepared through extensive research by Vedantu’s team. The study material is available for free download and is easily accessible on the internet.


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