Classification of Some of the Plants of Australia:
A Brief Introduction

Notes by
Dr. Elizabeth Newell
Department of Biology
Hobart and William Smith Colleges


Photosynthetic organisms range from prokaryotes to complex, long-lived flowering plants. They are found in the kingdoms Eubacteria (prokaryotes), Protista (algae), and Plantae. In the classification of plants, the term "division" replaces "phylum." Thus, the categories of classification are: Kingdom, Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

Within the kingdom Plantae, divisions are grouped into the following categories (listed from most ancient to most recently evolved):

Non-vascular plants - no true vascular system (xylem, phloem), no true leaves, stems, roots; alternation of generations with the haploid gametophyte stage dominant.

Vascular plants - true xylem and phloem; leaves, stems, roots, alternation of generation with diploid sporophyte stage dominant.

Classification of a Few Australian Plants

1. Kingdom Protista

2. Kingdom Plantae

A. Non-vascular Plants

B. Vascular, Non-seed Plants

C. Gymnosperms ("Naked Seed" Plants)

D. Angiosperms (Flowering Plants)

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Partnership for Global Education: Queensland Term 2001