Gymnosperms are widely used in construction, furniture-building, paper-making and urban planning, as well as providing important solvents for industrial and home use, cleaning agents, and food. Gymnosperms are plants that do not flower and instead produce bare seeds or cones, as with the familiar pine tree.Continue Reading
Pine trees, of course, are of enormous economic importance. They grow quickly, and their wood is used to manufacture cheap construction materials such as particle board and plywood. Whole pines were the traditional material for ship masts, and their soft unprocessed wood continues to be used in woodworking. It is also a common firewood due to the low cost. Pulped pines produce the majority of paper manufactured.
Crude pine resin is commercially important. Rosin and oil of turpentine derived from the crude resin are used for applications ranging from oiling violin strings to making glue and soap on an industrial scale. Turpentine also has medical applications as an antispasmodic, a diuretic, a stimulant and an antibacterial.
Finally, pine nuts are used as food, the most famous recipe including them being pesto sauce.
Aside from pines, a gymnosperm called ginkgo is planted throughout major American cities as a street tree because it is resistant to pollution. Products made from ginkgo seeds are promoted by beverage manufacturers for their supposed neurological properties, said to promote alertness and memory.
Firs are used for their strong and attractive wood, which is relatively cheap due to the trees' rapid growth.
Spruce is important to the music industry as spruce wood is used to make high-quality soundboards for violins and guitars.Learn more about Botany
Some of the more commonly found examples of gymnosperms are pines, spruces, cedars and sequoias. The less abundant varieties include the cycads, such as the sago palm, and the maidenhair tree or Ginkgo biloba. Overall, there are more than 1,000 species of gymnosperms encompassing 14 plant families.Full Answer >
Pollen is produced in the stamen in angiosperms and is produced in the microsporangiate cones in gymnosperms. The cones that pollen is produced in are usually referred to as male cones or pollen cones.Full Answer >
Pollination differs between angiosperms and gymnosperms in that most angiosperms entice animals to carry their pollen from plant to plant, while most gymnosperms rely on the wind carrying their pollen to other plants. There are many wind-pollinated angiosperms and a very few animal-pollinated gymnosperms, however. The methods angiosperms use tend to be more effective at spreading quickly, but gymnosperms, particularly conifers, are generally better adapted to cold or dry environments.Full Answer >
Distinguishing characteristics of the phylum Gnetophyta include the presence of both tracheids and vessels in their xylem tissue, a unique fertilization feature in which a tube grows from the eggs to unite with pollen tubes, and being the only division of gymnosperms that undergo double fertilization. Gnetophyta plants include trees, shrubs, or stumpy, turnip-like growth forms with simple leaves.Full Answer >