angiosperm (ănˈjēəspûrmˌ) [key], term denoting seed plants in which the ovules, or young seeds, are enclosed within the ovary (that part of the pistil specialized for seed production), in contrast to the gymnosperms, in which the seeds are not enclosed within an ovary. The angiosperms constitute the division Magnoliophyta and include all agricultural crops (including the cereal grains and other grasses), all garden flowers and most horticultural plants, all the common broad-leaved shrubs and trees, and all the usual field, garden, and roadside weeds. The angiosperms are the most economically important group of all plants.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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