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Plants, also called green plants, are multicellular eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. They form an unranked clade Viridiplantae that includes the flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns, clubmosses, hornworts, liverworts, mosses and the green algae. Green plants exclude the red and brown algae, the fungi, archaea, bacteria and animals.

Plants
Diversity of plants image version 5.png
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Archaeplastida
Kingdom: Plantae
Divisions
Synonyms
  • Viridiplantae
  • Chlorobionta
  • Chlorobiota
  • Chloroplastida
  • Phyta Barkley 1939 emed. Holt & Uidica 2007
  • Cormophyta Endlicher, 1836
  • Cormobionta Rothmaler, 1948
  • Euplanta Barkley, 1949
  • Telomobionta Takhtajan, 1964
  • Embryobionta Cronquist et al., 1966
  • Metaphyta Whittaker, 1969

Plants, also called green plants, are multicellular eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. They form an unranked clade Viridiplantae (Latin for green plants) that includes the flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns, clubmosses, hornworts, liverworts, mosses and the green algae. Green plants exclude the red and brown algae, the fungi, archaea, bacteria and animals.

Green plants have cell walls with cellulose and obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts, derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria. Their chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is also common.

There are about 300–315 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants (see the table below). Green plants provide most of the world's molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earth's ecologies, especially on land. Plants that produce grains, fruits and vegetables form humankind's basic foodstuffs, and have been domesticated for millennia. Plants play many roles in culture. They are used as ornaments and, until recently and in great variety, they have served as the source of most medicines and drugs. The scientific study of plants is known as botany, a branch of biology.

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