What are Gnetophytes? Gnetophytes are seed-bearing plants that can grow as shrubs, trees, or vines and share similarities with both gymnosperms and angiosperms. Although the fossil record of gnetophytes is poor, it does extend into the Late Triassic. Three genera survive today: Ephedra is a shrub found in arid regions of the southwestern U.S.; Gnetum is a vine found in tropical rainforests of Asia, South America, and Africa; Welwitschia is a cactus-like plant found only in South Africa.
First known fossil occurrence: Triassic.
Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.
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