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Angiosperms

An is a group of seed plants. All angiosperms, or , share two important characteristics. First, they produce flowers. Second, in contrast to gymnosperms, which produce uncovered seeds, angiosperms produce seeds that are enclosed in .

Flowers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. But despite their differences, all flowers have the same function - reproduction. A flower is the reproductive structure of an angiosperm. A flower bud is enclosed by leaf-like structures called that protect the developing flower. Most flowers have ; colorful, leaf-like structures. Within the petals are the flower's male and female parts. Thin stalks topped by small knobs inside the flower are , the male reproductive parts. The thin stalk is called the . Pollen is produced in the knob, or , at the top of the stalk. The female parts, or , are found in the center of most flowers. The sticky tip of the pistil is called the . A slender tube, called a style, connects the stigma to the , a hollow structure at the base of the flower. The ovary contains one or more . An ovary is a flower structure that protects as they develop.

For angiosperms to reproduce, first, pollen falls on a flower's . In time, the sperm cell and egg cell join together in the flowers ovule. The zygote develops into the embryo part of the seed. As the seed develops the ovary changes and eventually becomes a fruit, a ripened and other structures that enclose one or more seeds.

Angiosperms are divided into two major groups: monocots and dicots. are angiosperms that have only one seed leaf. Grasses, including corn, wheat and rice, and plants such as lilies and tulips, are monocots. produce seeds with two seed leaves. Dicots include plants such as roses, violets and dandelions.

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