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Understanding Plants & the Vegetable Kingdom


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130 Pages


The world of plants is astoundingly diverse. Thanks to 3 billion years of evolution, there are now more than 380,000 plant species on Earth.
For all curious readers, the Knowledge Guides open the door to a world of complex and captivating phenomena.
Accurate, detailed visual information is all defined in lay language to make it readily accessible to the non-expert. Definitions to scientific terms are given either in the explanation itself, or in the comprehensive glossary.



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Published 09 August 2012
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EAN13 9782764408940
Language English
Document size 73 MB

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Publisher Editorial directors
Senior illustrator
Graphic designer
Researcher Translator Proofreaders
Production manager
Graphic artists
Jacques Fortin
François Fortin Stéphane Batigne
Julie Cailliau
Jocelyn Gardner Anne Tremblay Jean-Yves Ahern Manuela Bertoni Sonia Buffot Jocelyn Gardner Marc Lalumière Alain Lemire Rielle Lévesque Raymond Martin Gilles Vézina Käthe Roth Jo Howard Veronica Schami Nathalie Fréchette
Janou-Ève LeGuerrier Josée Noiseux Danielle Quinty
Kien Tang Karine Lévesque
Luc Brouillet Anne Bruneau Anja Geitmann Mario Parenteau Jean Rivoal
The visual guide to UnderstandingdgmoknibaelgetelPstnat&veh was created and produced by QA International 329, rue de la Commune Ouest, 3 étage e Montréal (Québec) H2Y 2E1 Canada T514.499.3000F514.499.3010 ©2007 QA International. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the Publisher.
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Plants Understanding the
diversity of the plant world
6 | Plant diversity 8 Plant classification 10 Plant cells 12 Algae 14 Fungi 16 Lichens 18 Mosses 20 Ferns 22 Conifers
46 Trees 44 Inflorescences 40 The flower 37 The leaf 34 The stem 30 The root 26 The anatomy of flowering plants 24 | Flowering plants
Ta b l e o f
50 | Reproduction of flowering plants 52 Pollination 54 Fertilization 56 The seed 57 The fruit 61 Vegetative propagation
79 78 74 70 67 64
Tropisms Plant hormones Plant growth Heterotrophic plants Sap Photosynthesis
62 | Nutrition and growth
80 | Plants and their environments 82 Plant formations 84 Tropical rainforest 86 Savannas 88 Temperate forests 90 Succulent plants 92 Aquatic plants 94 Protected areas
112 Beverages 110 Ingredients made from plants 109 Herbs and spices 108 Edible algae and mushrooms 106 Cereals 103 Fruits 98 Vegetables 96 | Food plants
114 | Plants used in industry 116 The wood industry 118 Papermaking 120 Natural rubber 121 Medicinal plants 122 Fiber plants
124 | Glossary 126 | Index 128 |Photo credits
more than 380,000 species The plant world contains , of which more than two-thirds are green plants. From the most complex flowering plants to single-cell sea algae, plants present a surprising diversity of organization, way of life, a lt of more than3 billion years nd mode of reproduction—the resu of evolution.
Plant diversity
Plant classification Growing complexity
Plant cells The building blocks of plants
Algae The first plants to grow on Earth
Fungi Organisms lacking chlorophyll
Lichens Symbiosis of an alga and a fungus
Mosses Plants of the humid zones
Ferns Undergrowth plants
Conifers The first trees
P l a n t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n Growing complexity
Within the plant world, green plants form the largest group, with about 278,000 different species. The four main subdivisions of the green plants group are mosses, ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. The last are by far the most numerous, with almost 234,000 species. Fungi are traditionally presented Plant diversity alongside plants, although they are not part of the group. They form a separate, homogeneous group, composed of species that draw their nutrition from other organisms. On the other hand, algae do not all come from a common ancestor and form a heterogeneous group. Brown algae comprise a separate group, while red and green algae are part of the plants group.
Humans have always wanted to classify the living species around them. Early classifications, based on the physical appearance of organisms, were refined through study of the internal organization of individuals, then through genetic analysis. Genes are characteristics specific to an individual and its species, and are coded within its cells. Comparison of the genes belonging to each species reveals the relationships between these species. The resulting classification allows us to trace the evolution of life, from the most primitive to the most complex organisms. Living beings are classified in lineages. Plants are divided among three distinct lineages : the lineage of fungi, the lineage to which brown algae belong, and the lineage of plants. Each lineage is subdivided into phyla, and each phylum contains organisms with a common ancestor. The main plant phyla are the bryophytes, filicophytes, coniferophytes, and angiosperms.
PLANTS about 284,000 species
BROWN ALGAE about 2,000 species
Today, there are almost 278,000 species ofgreen plants.
The group ofterrestrial plantscomprises almost 270,000 species.
Vascular plants
have sap-conducting vessels.
(234,700 species) reproduce through seeds.
Theconiferophytes(600 species, all conifers except the gingko) are resinous trees whose seeds are not protected in a fruit.
FUNGI 100,800 species
There are about 6,000 species ofred algae.
Green algaeform a heterogeneous group of about 8,000 species.
Thebryophytes(15,000 species, mainly mosses) are primitive plants that do not have sap-conducting vessels.
Thefilicophytes(9,500 species, mainly ferns) have sap-conducting vessels and roots, but they do not have seeds.
Angiosperms, or flowering plants (234,000 species), are the most highly evolved and most numerous. They have true flowers, and their seeds are protected in fruits.
Leucanthemumis one of the 1,528generain the Asteraceae family.
ferns conifers
terrestrial plants
The first algae appeared in the oceans during the Precambrian, more than 3 billion years ago ; the first green algae appeared 1.5 billion years ago. About 420 million years ago, certain green algae adapted to terrestrial life. They evolved to form mosses, then vascular plants without leaves or roots. The first ferns grew at the beginning of the Carboniferous. By the end of this period, the first conifers were growing, and they had their golden age in the Jurassic, between 280 and 145 million years ago. Flowering plants first appeared 30 million years later, in the Cretaceous. Their colors and shapes soon transformed the landscape of Earth.
flowering plants
TheLeucanthemumgenus contains eightspecies, including the speciesvulgare.
The monocotyledons are flowering plants most of which are herbaceous (wheat) ; a few are arborescent (palm tree). This class is divided into four orders containing more than 80 families.
Precambrian (4,600–570 MY)
Carboniferous (360–286 MY)
Jurassic (208–145 MY)
monocotyledon class
Plant diversity
MY : millions of years
A phylum may contain a number of classes, which are, in turn, divided into orders, genera, and species. To identify a plant, there is no need to list all of the groups to which it belongs in the classification system. In general, the genus and species, given in Latin, are enough. For instance, a daisy is known by the Latin nameLeucanthemum vulgare. In cases where there are several varieties of a single species, it is necessary to add the variety name to avoid any ambiguity.
Cretaceous (145–65 MY)
Dicotyledons are flowering plants, either woody (walnut) or herbaceous (begonia). This class comprises about 50 orders, divided into 230 families containing some 200,000 species.
The Asteralesordercontains herbaceous flowering plants of the temperate regions.
The largestfamilyin the Asterales order is the Asteraceae.
bluegreen algae
dicotyledon class