A Completely Unique Non-flowering Plant List

Non-flowering Plant List
Non-flowering plants are as valuable as those of the flowering varieties in terms of their role in ecosystem and aesthetic value. Here is some information about non-flowering plants.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
While studying the evolutionary process, it was found that non-flowering plants evolved long before the flowering varieties. In fact, we can say that non-flowering plants are one of the primitive forms of organisms on earth. Horsetails, ferns and pine trees are the commonly known non-flowering plants, that we observe in and around our environment. Let's discuss in brief about these plants, their classification and their comparison with flowering varieties.
Definition of Non-flowering Plants
Non-flowering plants can be defined as those group of plants that do not produce flowers for reproduction. They are simpler in organization as compared to the flowering plants. Some still refer algae and fungi in the group of non-flowering plants. However, these are not true plants, as they lack true roots and leaves. Algae and fungi are varied organisms, which are classified in different divisions.
Comparing Flowering and Non-flowering Plants
Apart from the fact that flowering plants bear flowers, while non-flowering plants do not, there are several features that characterize both the plant groups. Their difference is as follows:
  • All flowering plants are advanced forms and have a vascular system, whereas non-flowering plants comprise both non-vascular forms (mosses) and vascular forms (ferns and pines).
  • Flowering plants bear male and female parts, either in the same or different plant, while non-flowering plants do not have such striking plant parts.
  • Majority of the flowering plants produce seeds for development of new plants, whereas majority of the non-flowering plants (with some exceptions) produce tiny spores for propagation.
  • Seeds produced by flowering plants are enclosed in fruit, while this is not so in case of seeds derived from non-flowering plants.
  • In flowering plants, the sporophyte phase is dominant, whereas in non-flowering plants, the sporophyte and gametophyte are either independent (ferns) or the gametophyte phase is dominant (moss).
Non-flowering Plants Classification
Previously, non-flowering plants and plant-like organisms (algae, fungi, mosses, ferns, conifers) were categorized under cryptograms. At present, non-flowering plants are commonly known as gymnosperms, while flowering plants are called angiosperms.
List of Non-flowering Bryophytes
Bryophytes, commonly known as mosses, are small and simplest forms of non-flowering plants. They mostly lack true roots and use small hair-like structures for absorption of water and nutrients from the soil. You can find bryophytes growing in moist and swampy environment and on top of old woods and rocks. The three main divisions of bryophytes are Bryophyta (moss), Marchantiophyta (liverworts) and Anthocerophyta (hornworts).
Liverwort
Botanical Name: Marchantia
Known As: Liverwort
Chiloscyphus
Botanical Name: Chiloscyphus
Known As: Alpine waterwort
Amblystegium serpens
Botanical Name: Amblystegium serpens
Known As: Creeping Feather-moss
Drepanocladus
Botanical Name: Drepanocladus
Known As: Sickle moss
Polytrichum
Botanical Name: Polytrichum
Known As: Haircap moss
Tortula
Botanical Name: Tortula ruralis
Known As: Star moss
Desmatodon
Botanical Name: Desmatodon
Known As: Wide leaf moss
Orthotrichum
Botanical Name: Orthotrichum
Known As: Bristle-moss
Pohlia
Botanical Name: Pohlia
Known As: Scottish thread-moss
Plagiomnium
Botanical Name: Plagiomnium
Known As: Thyme-moss
Mnium
Botanical Name: Mnium
Known As: Carpet moss
Grimmia
Botanical Name: Grimmia
Known As: Antarctica moss
Funaria
Botanical Name: Funaria
Known As: Water moss
Dicranoweisia
Botanical Name: Dicranoweisia
Known As: ---
Fontinalis
Botanical Name: Fontinalis
Known As: Brook moss
Bryum
Botanical Name: Bryum
Known As: Warne's thread-moss
Brachythecium
Botanical Name: Brachythecium
Known As: Green silk moss
Aulacomnium
Botanical Name: Aulacomnium
Known As: Ribbed bog moss
Sphagnum
Botanical Name: Sphagnum
Known As: Peat moss
List of Non-flowering Pteridophytes
Pteridophytes are simple, seedless vascular plants that do not bear flowers. They produce a large amount of spores underneath or at the side of the foliage for reproduction. Non-flowering plants belonging to pteridophytes have feather-like leaves or fronds. Under pteridophytes, there are four main classes, namely, Psilopsida (psilotum), Lycopsida (club moss), Sphenopsida (horsetail) and Pteropsida (ferns).
Adiantum
Botanical Name: Adiantum
Known As: Maidenhair fern
Asplenium nidus
Botanical Name: Asplenium nidus
Known As: Bird's-nest fern
Athyrium
Botanical Name: Athyrium
Known As: Lady fern
Lycopodium
Botanical Name: Lycopodium
Known As: Club moss
Osmunda Regalis
Botanical Name: Osmunda Regalis
Known As: Royal fern
Lygodium
Botanical Name: Lygodium
Known As: Old world climbing fern
Botrychium
Botanical Name: Botrychium
Known As: Moonwort
Crytogramma
Botanical Name: Cryptogramma
Known As: Parsley ferns
Cyctopteris
Botanical Name: Cystopteris
Known As: Bladderferns
Dryopteris
Botanical Name: Dryopteris
Known As: Buckler fern
Equisetum
Botanical Name: Equisetum
Known As: Rush
Ophioglossum
Botanical Name: Ophioglossum
Known As: Adder's tongue fern
Gymnocarpium
Botanical Name: Gymnocarpium
Known As: Oak fern
Woodsia
Botanical Name: Woodsia
Known As: Cliff ferns
Selaginella
Botanical Name: Selaginella
Known As: Resurrection Plant
Thelypteris
Botanical Name: Thelypteris
Known As: New York fern
Trichomanes
Botanical Name: Trichomanes
Known As: Bristle fern
Pteridium
Botanical Name: Pteridium
Known As: Bracken
Psilotum
Botanical Name: Psilotum
Known As: Whisk fern
Polystichum
Botanical Name: Polystichum
Known As: Shield fern
Kangaroo fern
Botanical Name: Microsorum Pustulatum
Known As: Kangaroo fern
Polypodium
Botanical Name: Polypodium
Known As: Rock polypody
List of Non-flowering Gymnosperms
Botanically, non-flowering seed producing plants are known as gymnosperms. Unlike flowering plants, their seeds are not enclosed in fruit (naked seeds). These plant groups are mostly evergreen, woody and bear needle-shaped leaves. The tallest tree, redwood, belongs to this plant group. Gymnosperms are further classified into four classes, namely, Cycadopsida, Coniferopsida (or Pinopsida), Gnetopsida, and Ginkgopsida.
Sequoia
Botanical Name: Sequoia sempervirens
Known As: California redwood
Slash pine
Botanical Name: Pinus elliottii
Known As: Slash pine
Cypress
Botanical Name: Cupressus sempervirens
Known As: Mediterranean Cypress
Yew
Botanical Name: Taxus baccata
Known As: English yew, or European yew
Spruce
Botanical Name: Spruce
Known As: Norway Spruce
Cedar
Botanical Name: Cedrus
Known As: Cedar
Ostrich fern
Botanical Name: Matteuccia struthiopteris
Known As: Ostrich fern
Bracken fern
Botanical Name: Dennstaedtiaceae
Known As: ---
Sensitive fern
Botanical Name: Onoclea sensibilis
Known As: Sensitive Fern
Fir
Botanical Name: Abies
Known As: Fir
Pinus pine
Botanical Name: Pinus
Known As: Pine
Juniperus
Botanical Name: Juniperus
Known As: Juniper
Ephedra
Botanical Name: Ephedra
Known As: Joint Pine
Welwitschia
Botanical Name: Welwitschia mirabilis
Known As: Welwitschia
Cycad
Botanical Name: Cycas revoluta
Known As: Sago palm, King sago
Sciadopitys
Botanical Name: Sciadopitys
Known As: Japanese umbrella pine
Zamia
Botanical Name: Zamia
Known As: Zamia
Araucaria
Botanical Name: Araucaria
Known As: Monkey Puzzle
Gingko
Botanical Name: Ginkgo
Known As: Maidenhair tree
Non-flowering Plants: Reproduction
Based on the level of complexity, the mode of reproduction in non-flowering plants varies from one species to another. In most cases, non-flowering plants reproduce by means of spores and at times, by seeds and vegetative parts. The following is a list of reproduction modes for non-flowering plants:

Vegetative Propagation: Reproduction by vegetative parts takes place in both flowering and non-flowering plants. Over here, new plantlets are propagated with the help of leaves, stem, and roots. Vegetative propagation is also referred to as cloning, as the new plants are exact copies of the parent plants. Examples of non-flowering plants that reproduce by vegetative means include some species of ferns and conifers.

Spores: Spores are microscopic structures with a tough outer coat, which consist of one or more cells. As spores are minute and light, they get dispersed easily by the action of wind and other transporting mediums. When the spores land in a damp area where there is a favorable environment for germination, they sprout and develop into new plants. Ferns are non-flowering plants that reproduce by producing spores.

Seeds: Though it is a fact that most seeds are formed after sexual reproduction or fertilization, some plants bear seeds without the fusion of male and female gametes, a phenomenon called apomixis. Depending upon the species, non-flowering plants bear either sexually produced seeds or asexually produced seeds. The seeds are borne in cones and strobili. Examples of non-flowering plants that produce seeds are conifers and cycads.
Non-flowering Plants for Gardening
Non-flowering plants enhance the aesthetic value of any landscape design. For formal gardens, non-flowering perennials like cycads and palm trees are mostly grown to create symmetry and demarcate the garden sections. You might also have noticed such plants in the entrance and lawn boundaries. Their uniform growth habit and attractive canopy add symmetry to the landscape. If you want to create a uniform looking garden, you can opt for non-flowering bushes like junipers, boxwood, and wax myrtle.

As far as maintenance is concerned, non-flowering plants perform well, even with less care. Hence, they are best options as houseplants than the flowering plants that require specific conditions for growth and blooming. Besides this, flowering plants require frequent repotting (especially after blooming season), which is not so in case of non-flowering plants. When it comes to non-flowering houseplant, araucaria or Norfolk island pine are a hardy variety, which can adapt to a wide range of soil and growing conditions.
Overall, non-flowering plants are no less important than the flowering species in maintaining the biodiversity of a particular area. In addition to the above-mentioned non-flowering plant list, you can find many other non-flowering species, out of which some are included in the endangered list. Also, several species are becoming extinct because of the changing climatic conditions.