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What is Plant Kingdom?

Last Updated : 31 Oct, 2023
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Kingdom Plantae was one of the kingdoms in the five-kingdom classification given by R.H Whittaker. All the organisms of the plant kingdom are multicellular and eukaryotes. Examples of the Plant kingdom include algae, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Organisms belonging to the Plant Kingdom are all capable of synthesizing their food i.e. they are autotrophic. The further classification of Plant Kingdom is carried out according to both structural and reproductive characteristics.

The majority of plants are sessile, which means they have a single root system and do not move from one area to another. Most plants belong to the angiosperm plant family, including the flowering plants. Rose, Lily, and Jasmine are all examples of Angiosperms. On the other hand, Conifers are examples of Gymnosperms.

What is Plant Kingdom?

All the organisms of the Plant kingdom consist of herbs, shrubs, and trees which can manufacture their own food. They have a chloroplast organelle containing chlorophyll, which is the main pigment for the process of Photosynthesis. The plants help release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and utilise it to make food. Plants also play a major role in the Water Cycle, where they release water vapour from the tips of their leaves, through Transpiration.

Characteristics of Kingdom Plantae

The following are the characteristics of the Plant Kingdom:

Types of Classification

According to the traditional classification system, the plant kingdom is divided into two subkingdoms- Cryptogamae and Phanerogamae.

Cryptogamae and Phanerogams

Cryptogams do not bear conspicuous reproductive structures like seeds. They are also called lower plants or seedless plants. Phanerogams have evident reproductive structures in the form of seeds. They are called seed plants. Cryptograms have three divisions- Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta. Phanerogams have only one division- Spermatophyta.

In the recent times, plants are differentiated into subgroups on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Vascular System: Vascular system is present or absent for the transportation of water and minerals.
  2. Seed Formation: Seeds are present or absent in the flower, and they are either enclosed in the fruit or are naked.
  3. Plant Body: Well-differentiated plant body is present or not.

Classification of Kingdom Plantae

Here is the classification of the plant kingdom basis on the given criteria:-


Algae is the sole member of the division Thallophyta. These are simple, autotrophic and are mostly found in aquatic habitats. Following are some of its characteristics:


  1. They are found in colonial or filamentous form. One of them called kelp is capable of forming massive plant bodies.
  2. Asexual reproduction occurs via zoospores, which are motile in nature.
  3. Vegetative reproduction occurs via Fragmentation.
  4. Sexual reproduction occurs via fusion of two gametes. It can be Isogamous or Anisogamous.
  5. Their major role includes carbon dioxide fixation and also act as primary prouducers of energy rich compounds.
  6. Based on the pigment present in them they are further classified as Chlorophyceae, Rhodophyceae and Phaeophyceae.
  7. Some examples are Volvox, Ectocarpus, Red algae, Chalmydomonas, etc.


Bryophytes are called amphibians of the plant kingdom because they require water for fertilization. These include mosses and Liverworts. Some of its characteristics are:

  1. They lack true roots, stem or leaves.
  2. The main plant body is haploid and is called gametophyte.
  3. The male and female sex organs are different.
  4. The male sex organ is called antheridium and the female sex organ is called archegonium.
  5. The zygote produced is called the sporophyte which remains attached to the main plant body.
  6. Some of the cells of sporophyte undergo meiosis to produce spores.
  7. Some examples are Sphagnum, Marchantia,Funaria, etc.



Pteridophytes are known as the snake in the Botanical world. They are the first land plants with a vascular system. They are used for both medicinal and ornamental purposes. Some of its characteristics are:

  1. They are found in shady areas.
  2. Horsetails and Ferns are the dominant species in this division.
  3. They possess true, root, stems and leaves
  4. Sporophytic stage is the dominant phase.
  5. The spores germinate to give rise to gametohytic body known as prothallus.
  6. Some examples are Salvinia, Selaginella, Equisetum, etc.
  7. These are further classified into our classes- Psilopsida, Lycopsida,Sphenopsida and Pteropsida.



Gymnosperms are naked-seeded plants. The plants are woody, perennial, and range from tall trees to dwarf shrubs. Some of its characteristics are:

  1. They have a well differentiated plant body and vascular system.
  2. In these plants, the ovules are not enclosed within an ovary wall and remain exposed.
  3. Medium size trees and shrubs fall in this category.
  4. Roots with associations like Mycorrhiza and collaroid roots are present.
  5. The leaves are needle like in conifers, which help reduce surface area.
  6. Gymnosperms are heterosporous.
  7. Some examples are Pinus, Ginkgo,Cycas, etc.



Angiosperms are highly developed and the most advanced plants in the plant kingdom. They are plants with sporophytes organized into flowers. Some of its characteristics are:

  1. The seeds are enclosed within fruits.
  2. A great variation in size is found in these ranging from small flowers like Wolfia to large trees like Eucalyptus.
  3. These are further classified into monocotyledons and dicotyledons.
  4. The female sex organ is the Pistil and the male sex organ is called the Stamen.
  5. Reproduction occurs via double fertilisation.
  6. Some examples are Wheat, Apple, Mango, Lotus, etc.


Monocotyledons Vs Dicotyledons

Following is the difference between Monocots and Dicots:



These possess a single cotyledon.

These have two cotyledons.

These show parallel venation.

These show reticulate venation.

These possess trimerous flowers.

These have tetramerous or pentamerous flowers.

Examples: Wheat, Lily, Palm

Examples: Rose, Sunflower, Pea

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FAQs Kingdom Plantae

1. Which division of Kingdom Plantae has the highest Chance of Survival?

The Bryophtes have the highest chance of survival because they are capable of living on both land and water.

2. What are some interesting Characteristics about the Kingdom Plantae?

Following are the characteristics of Kingdom Plantae:

  • All plants are autotrophic in nature.
  • They are eukaryotic and multiocellular.
  • They have chlorophyll pigment in them which gives them green colour.

3. What is the most Primitive plant of the Kingdom Plantae?

The Thallophyta division consists of the most primitive plants which inhabited the Earth- Algae. These plants do not have well developed plant parts and lack a vascular system.

4. Which group is the most Abundant within the Plantae?

Angisosperms form the majority of organisms within the plant kingdom. All flowering plants belong to the angiosperm family.

5. Does Kingdom Plantae have a Cell wall?

Yes, all the organisms of Kingdom Plantae possess a cell wall. Cell wall is absent in case of animal cells.

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