Difference between Gymnosperm and Angiosperm

By Jaxson

Main Difference

Spermatophyte is that phyla of plant kingdom that produce seed. Its body divides into root body and leaves. It also has well developed vascular bundles. It is sub divided into gymnosperm and angiosperm. Gymnosperm and angiosperm are both seed producing plants. Both of them produce hetero-spores that is, mega and micro spores. Angiosperm being a flower plant has more variety than gymnosperm due to evolutionary changes. Angiosperms also produce fruit. While gymnosperms are non-flowering plants and does not produce any fruit.


Gymnosperms belong to kingdom plantae, phyla Gnetophyta, Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta and Coniferophyta. It bears seed, no flower or fruit is produced, however, it arises from an ovary giving naked or coverless seed also called sporophylls. Cones are formed by seed bearing sporophylls. Cones are of two types, microspores are male while megaspores are female. It is earliest fossil and has four phyla. The Coniferophyta being the largest, includes pinus specie, Cycadophyta, second largest, includes cycus, Ginkgophyta includes Ginko biloba and Gnetophyta includes welwitschia. They are not covered by any fruit wall.


Angiosperm belongs to kingdom plantae, division anthrophyta- flowering plant. Anthrophyta are most diverse division of flowering plants. On the basis of the leaf the angiosperm is broadly categorized into Dicot and monocots. Monocot means one leaf while Dicots are producing two leaves at a same time. The flower configuration and leaves of these two categories also differ. It is a Greek word meaning container. The contents are flower and a mature ovary. A flower consists of modified sepals, petals, stamen and carpel. Carpel contains ovary, style and stigma. As said before it has two types of sporophylls. Megasporophyll differentiates into carpel while microsporophyll forms the stamen. Shoot is modified into sepals and petals to attract pollen. Microspores are formed in the anthers-male reproductive part of a flower. Now a mature ovary gives fruits. There are two types of fruits that is, dry and fleshy. They are further classified into simple, aggregated and multiple fruits. The fruit has three layers of wall, the outermost is epicarp, middle one is mesocarp while the innermost is endocarp.

Key Differences

  • Gymnosperms are unisexual and has reproductive organ as cones (strobilus) while angiosperm reproduce sexually as it has flowers with both the sexes. It can be unisexual or bisexual.
  • The ovules are lying freely outside the ovary in the gymnosperms while in angiosperm ovule is safely enclosed on the ovarian wall.
  • The ovule evolves into coverless seed after fertilization in gymnosperm while ovule turns into seed inside a fruit in angiosperms.
  • The male and female cones out grow micro and mega spores in gymnosperms while anthers, the male part of a flower produce microspores and ovules in an ovary produce megaspores in the angiosperms.
  • On the micropyle of the ovule a pollen grain falls and germinates in case of a gymnosperm while in angiosperm the pollen falls on stigma of the flower and forms a pollen tube after germination. The tube follows all the way through the style to reach the ovary of the flower to reproduce.
  • In gymnosperm fertilization process is simple while in angiosperm double fertilization takes place.
  • In gymnosperm endosperm is haploid while in angiosperm endosperm is triploid.
  • In gymnosperm wind carries the pollen alone while in angiosperm wind, insect bat and many other factors takes part.
  • In gymnosperm vessels are absent while in angiosperm it is present.
  • In gymnosperm phloem has no companion cells while companion cells are present in angiosperms.

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