While flowering plants dominate most yards, they are relative newcomers compared to several more ancient groups of non-flowering plants. These plants differ in several key ways — in addition to their history that affect where they live, how they reproduce and how they can benefit a landscape. Color Although the green of chlorophyll is in all plants, harvesting sunlight for photosynthesis, other vibrant colors are virtually exclusive to flowering plants. This is because most non-flowering plants, including conifers, ferns and moss, do not feature exclusive relationships with insects or animals. The energy needed to produce flowers is, instead, allocated to the production of catkins and cones that disperse pollen.
Pollination Much older than flowering plants, non-flowering plants use the wind and, in some cases, the water to pollinate. In the case of moss near landscape ponds, this limits their ability to spread across a landscape, because they need open puddles of water to transmit their pollen. Other non-flowering plants such as cycads and conifers spread their pollen through catkins and open cones, which release pollen into the air. While some flowering plants also pollinate using the air, many use animals to carry pollen from one plant to the other. This increases the chances of successful sexual reproduction.
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:
1. 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).
2. 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. 3. 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. 4. Seeds produced by flowering plants are enclosed in fruit, while this is not so in case of seeds derived from non-flowering plants. 5. 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).