Kingdom Plantae Characteristics
Kingdom Plantae includes green algae, Chlorophyta and Charophyta, nonvascular plants (such as liverworts, hornworts, and mosses, and “nonvascular” means they don’t have any kind of veins to carry nutrients throughout the plant), vascular plants (tracheophytes, which means these do have veins that carry nutrients and water throughout the plant), and vascular plants include club mosses, ferns, horsetails, and seed plants, which are also known as spermaphytes. The seed plants include gymnosperms (such as the conifers, cycads and the Ginkgo tree).
These carry their seeds on the outside. The conifers would be like your spruce and pine trees, which have a cone. That cone holds the seeds. You can actually see the seeds coming out of it during the time of year where these seeds are coming out and the trees or plants are trying to reproduce. Angiosperms, or flowering plants, have their seeds on the inside in an ovary of the flower.
Both of those are seed plants. They just carry their seeds differently. The cell walls of plants consist primarily of cellulose and lignin. Lignin gives structure and strength to a plant, to a plant’s cell wall (especially in trees), and it plays a large role in conducting water through the plant. Most plants engage in photosynthesis, which is where plants take in energy from the sun and use it to carry out its processes- to carry out its own processes.
Some plants have lost that ability and must obtain their nourishment heterotrophically. They can’t make their own food. Autotrophs, such as those that carry out photosynthesis, or plants that can carry out photosynthesis, they can create their own food. But, heterotrophs cannot create their own food and they must get their nourishment from other places.
There are some plants that cannot carry out photosynthesis and must get their nourishment, their food sources, from other places. They can’t make their own food. Green plants produce most of the world’s molecular oxygen. That would be done through photosynthesis. Plants can also serve as foods (such as grains, fruits, and vegetables), as ornament- ornaments rather.
People have plants around their houses or in their offices that are just there for decoration. They are there as an ornament. They’re not there for any specific purpose. They have also been used as medicines or drugs. There are some plants that can be used in a harmful way and a lot that can be used in a helpful way. While you probably would go to the doctor if you needed a medicine, for a long time people didn’t have doctors.
They used people that knew about herbs and plants. Those people would take care of them. Even once we had doctors, doctors would rely on a lot of plants. A lot of your medicines that you would take over the counter now are created from plants or in a lab based on what the plant cellular makeup was. Plants play a large role in your medicines, even today, even if you aren’t getting them straight from some plant that is growing out of the ground.
The scientific study of plants is known as botany. If you are interested in studying plants, you could become a botanist. There are lots of different categories in Kingdom Plantae. The differences are based on if they are green algae, if they have veins that help transport nutrients, and then you have different ones within those. The vascular plants are the ones you’re going to see the most of.
You will probably think most often of those that look like your flowering plants or your trees. Keep in mind that the cell walls of plants are made up of cellulose and lignin, where in fungi we had them made up of chitin. That is a key difference between a plant and a fungus. The cell walls of plants are made of cellulose. Most plants are going to engage in photosynthesis. Plants have lots of uses, both as food or as an ornamental or decoration purpose or for medicines.