Plant - Diversity

Diversity

The table below shows some species count estimates of different green plant (Viridiplantae) divisions. It suggests there are about 300,000 species of living Viridiplantae, of which 85-90% are flowering plants. (Note: as these are from different sources and different dates, they are not necessarily comparable, and like all species counts, are subject to a degree of uncertainty in some cases.)

Diversity of living green plant (Viridiplantae) divisions
Informal group Division name Common name No. of living species Approximate No. in informal group
Green algae Chlorophyta green algae (chlorophytes) 3,800 – 4,300 8,500

(6,600 - 10,300)

Charophyta green algae (e.g. desmids & stoneworts) 2,800; 4,000-6,000
Bryophytes Marchantiophyta liverworts 6,000-8,000 19,000

(18,100 - 20,200)

Anthocerotophyta hornworts 100-200
Bryophyta mosses 12,000
Pteridophytes Lycopodiophyta club mosses 1,200 12,000

(12,200)

Pteridophyta ferns, whisk ferns & horsetails 11,000
Seed plants Cycadophyta cycads 160 260,000

(259,511)

Ginkgophyta ginkgo 1
Pinophyta conifers 630
Gnetophyta gnetophytes 70
Magnoliophyta flowering plants 258,650


The naming of plants is governed by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (see cultivated plant taxonomy).

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