Plant kingdom classification

Updated February 21, 2017

All living things are divided into categories based on a globally accepted classification system. This science of classification, known as taxonomy, enables scientists to study and research plants, animals, and other creatures in an organised manner. The plantae kingdom makes up only one of five kingdom divisions in this in this classification system.

Plantae Classification

Organisms are placed in the plant kingdom based on a number of characteristics that make them unique. Their upright bodies are supported by cellulose in the walls of their cells. This characteristic is different from the cells walls of animals, which are made up of semi-permeable membranes through which fluids and other materials can pass. With a few exceptions, plants get the nutrition they need from sunlight through the process of photosynthesis. Their reproduction may be sexual or asexual, depending on the type of plant. Plants can be found both on land and in the water. They are further divided into several phyla, based on their more detailed characteristics.


The Bryophyta phylum is made up of mosses, liverworts and hornworts. They are small, simple plants that do not have roots, stems, leaves or flowers like other phyla. Instead, they use spores to reproduce. Plants from this category help prevent erosion and provide a basis for other plant growth. They are most commonly found in shaded, moist areas.


The phylum Sphenophyta consists of one plant, the horse’s tail. These plants are made up mainly of stems, with no clear leaves or flowers. Many scientists believe that there were once other members of this phylum that have since become extinct.


Anthophyta, also known as magnoliophyta or flowering dicots, is the largest phylum of flowering plants. This category includes many flowers, trees, bushes and vines. Fruits and vegetables also fall into this category.


Coniferophyta plants reproduce by spreading their seeds through a cone. They are usually evergreen with sharp leaves. They never produce flowers.


The plants in the Ginkgophyta phylum are native to China. Seeds from this phylum have a strong, offensive odour.


The Filocophyta phylum consists completely of ferns. These plants have many of the same characteristics of mosses, except that they have vascular systems.

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About the Author

Tiffany Bennett is a recent graduate from Toccoa Falls College. While earning her degree in counseling and psychology, she discovered that she enjoys various forms of writing. She is currently living in Athens, Ga., and looking forward to beginning a graduate degree program in international affairs at the University of Georgia.