Plants are the most robust and oldest forms of living beings on the earth.
The earth is called a green planet due to plants on it.
There are different types of plants.
They can be classified based on many factors like their life span, physical appearance, reproduction, flowers, existence on land, their food requirement etc.
Different types of plants are classified
1. Based on age or life span: Plants are the longest living creatures on the earth. Some of them live for even 1000 to 5000 years are more. But not all plants live the same age. Some of them even die within months. So plants are differentiated based on their live span as
These plants live for few weeks.
They germinate, grow, reproduce and die within few weeks.
These are present even in deserts
These plants survive for a year or less.
Ex; cotton, wheat.
Most of agriculture crop plants come under this category.
Biennial plants: These plants survive for a period of 2 years at most. Ex: Carrot
Perennial plants. These plants grow for many years. Their actual age is not fixed. Some are either cut off or broken due to winds etc. If not they live for hundreds of years.
Ex: Neem, banyan, mango etc.
2. Based on where they live: The plants are also differentiate bases on places where they live. They are quite interesting and as
a. Mesophytes– Land plants which grow at normal land condition with sufficient water in the soil to live.
These include many plants which we see around us everyday.
They can be big tress, shrubs, bushes, plantains etc.
As the name indicates these plant grow only in water
Water plants are dependent on water whole life. They germinate, grow and survive in water. They cannot survive on plain soil.
c. Xerophytes: These are plants which grow in desert areas with very low water availability and very heat temperatures. They can survive in drought conditions like desert. Ex: Cactus.
They live in dry areas so-called “xerophytes” as xero- dry + phyte- plant. These plants save water for use in drought in leaves or stems.
So their leaves or stems are succulent i.e a bid bulged and soft. When squeezed you can find a paste like liquid in side. Further the leaves have thorns which are meant to prevent animals from grazing on them.
d. Epiphytes: Epiphyte is a plant that grows on the surface of other plants. Ex: Fern, mosses etc. These plants are not parasites but survive on other big and tall-growing tress.
The reason is in dense forests these plants will be deprived of sunlight on the land due to other big tress shading them. So when they grow on other plants, they can overcome this. They can get the sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. They grow on other plants so epiphytes as EPI– above (top) PHYTE– plant.
3. Based on physical size: Have you noticed? Not all plants are of same size. Some are very small while some are very gigantic. Based on this physical size, there are different types of plants.
- Herbs: small plants with a height of foot or so. Ex: grasses.
- Shrubs: These are quite bigger than herbs, till a meter or more Ex: Tulsi plant
- Trees: These are gigantic plants. They grow to few meters in height and also live very long. Ex: Neem plant.
4. Based on seed types: Seed is the key part of a plant. it is one which gives rise to new plant. It is also the one from which other animals derive nutrition. But not all seed are alike. We can differentiate plant based type of seeds into two as
A.monocotyledons: Seed appears as single entity. Ex: Wheat
B.dicotyledons. Seed can be broken into two equal halves. Ex: Pea nut.
5. Based on cell numbers: Plants like animals are made of cells and cell organelles. Plants can be classified based on cell numbers in their body as
a) Single cellular (unicellular): Ex; Bacteria, algae
b) Multi-cellular: Ex: Fungi i.e they have many cells linked to one another but still each cell survives on its own.
c) Organ based: These are plants whose cells form tissue and differentiate into organs like leaves, roots, branches, stem, fruit etc. They are large plants and tress coming under this group. We see these plants in daily life around us.
6. Based on Gametes: This is an advanced feature among plants. Formation of male and female gametes for sexual reproduction is thought to be an advanced feature in evolution.
Plants with gametes are called gametocytes and those without gametes are termed Agametocytes.
7. Based on the cover on seeds: Gymnosperms and angiosperms. Most of the plants we see around have a prominent seed coat around the see. Some of them even have a fruit pulp around the seed formed from flower. These plants are termed as angiosperms or flowering plants. But there are few plants whose seeds are naked and called as angiosperms.
8. Based on food habits: This is quite interesting. We get food from plants as they make their own food (Autotrophs). But some are even carnivores. They eat animals. So we can call the plants as
a. Autotrophs: These plants create their own food.
b. Carnivores: These plants create own food, but also eat other insects and animals when they come near to.
Ex: Nepenthis, Venus fly trap.
These plants grow in nitrogen deficient soil. So for sake of nitrogen in the form of ammonia, they trap insects and small animals. They either have a cavity to trap and close the insect or have glue like secretion to trap insects.
C. Parasites: These plants depend on other plants for survival.
Hence name parasites.
9. Based on root type
Also plants differ based on the root system, based on the food dependence etc.
They provide food, shelter, medicine, bring rain fall and reduce pollution. So we need to conserve their diversity.
Also read Importance of plants