Gymnosperms

> "Seed Ferns" | Ginkgoes | Cycads and Relatives | Conifers and Relatives | Gnetophytes | Other Gymnosperms

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Pinus radiata
Pinus radiata
© 2004 UCMP

Otozamites latior
Otozamites latior
© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum

Picea
Picea
© 2003 Gary Andrashko, Illinois State Museum

What are Gymnosperms? Gymnosperms were the earliest seed-producing, woody plants. The term gymnosperm means “naked seed,” and this group includes all the seed-producing plants except the angiosperms (flowering plants). Their seeds commonly appear in a cone and lack the protective covering present in the seeds of flowering plants. Gymnosperms dominated the forests and swamps throughout much of the Mesozoic. Many have gone extinct, but members of the ginkgoes, cycads, and conifers are still around today.

First known fossil occurrence: Devonian.

Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.

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See Gymnosperms from the:

Quaternary
Tertiary
Cretaceous
Jurassic
Triassic
Permian
Carboniferous
Devonian
Silurian
Ordovician
Cambrian
Precambrian
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