Flowering plants (angiosperms)

The flowering plants or angiosperms (Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta) are the most diverse group of land plants. The flowering plants and the gymnosperms are the only extant groups of seed plants. The flowering plants are distinguished from other seed plants by a series of apomorphies, or derived characteristics.



The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first flowering plants known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60-70 million years ago.






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