Revision Notes

1.5 Classifying Plants

Extended Only

Ferns & Flowering Plants

  • At least some parts of any plant are green, caused by the presence of the pigment chlorophyll which absorbs energy from sunlight for the process of photosynthesis
  • The plant kingdom includes organisms such as ferns and flowering plants



  • Have leaves called fronds
  • Do not produce flowers but instead reproduce by spores produced on the underside of fronds


Ferns, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes



Ferns reproduce by spores found on the underside of their fronds, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Ferns reproduce by spores found in the underside of their fronds


Flowering plants:

  • Reproduce sexually by means of flowers and seeds
  • Seeds are produced inside the ovary found at the base of the flower
  • Can be divided into two groups – monocotyledons and dicotyledons


Wheat plants are monocotyledons, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Wheat plants are monocotyledons


Sunflowers are dicotyledons, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Sunflowers are dicotyledons


How to distinguish between monocotyledons and dicotyledons:


  • Flowers from monocotyledons contain petals in multiples of 3
  • Flowers from dicotyledons contain petals in multiples of 4 or 5


  • Leaves from monocotyledons have parallel leaf veins
  • Leaves from dicotyledons have reticulated leaf veins (meaning that they are all interconnected and form a web-like network throughout the leaf)


Comparing monocots and dicots, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Comparing monocots and dicots


Exam Tip

Identification of monocotyledons and dicotyledons comes up fairly frequently in the multiple choice paper and so it is worth learning the two differences between their flowers and leaves.

Author: Jenna

Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.

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