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Nonflowering Plants Lesson for Kids: Names & Examples

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  • 0:04 Flowers or Not?
  • 0:41 Non-Flowering Plants…
  • 2:20 Non-Flowering Plants…
  • 3:27 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Did you know that not all plants have flowers? In this lesson, you'll learn about different types of non-flowering plants, including mosses, ferns and conifers.

Flowers or Not?

Have you ever seen a fern? A fern is a green plant that grows in a damp place. Unlike many other plants, ferns don't have flowers. They are one kind of non-flowering plant that's studied by plant scientists, who are called botanists. These non-flowering plants have been around for millions of years and are some of the most ancient plants on Earth.

Non-flowering plants mostly fall into one of these groups: ferns, liverworts, mosses, hornworts, whisk ferns, club mosses, horsetails, conifers, cycads, and ginkgo. We can group those together based on how they grow.

Non-Flowering Plants from Spores

Ferns are non-flowering, evergreen plants that grow from spores instead of seeds. A spore is a tiny cell that's created by the plant. Spores are released into the air or into water, and then travel away from the original plant. If the spore lands somewhere with the right conditions, it can start to create new cells and eventually become a new plant. Ferns, like most plants that grow from spores, live in damp areas. Whisk ferns are similar to ferns, but they don't have real roots or leaves.

Mosses are another non-flowering plant that grows from spores. There are over 12,000 different kinds of moss! Like ferns, mosses like to grow in areas that are moist and shady. In these areas, moss often covers the ground like a velvety rug. You may have seen moss growing in a shady spot in your yard or in the woods.

Club mosses really don't look much like moss. They have leaves that are shaped like needles and small leaves that make clusters in the shape of a cone. These unusual non-flowering plants are found mostly in tropical mountain areas that are very warm and wet.

Two more unusual non-flowering plants are liverworts and hornworts. Both of these spore-producing plants can be found all over the world, but are mostly in warm, moist, tropical regions. They grow on top of damp rocks and soil. Some liverworts are also found growing on the trunks of trees in damp areas. They're named for their shapes. Hornworts are one of the oldest plants on Earth.

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