- a plant having its seeds enclosed in an ovary; a flowering plant.
- any seed-bearing plant of the phylum Angiospermophyta (division Angiospermae in traditional systems), in which the ovules are enclosed in an ovary, which develops into the fruit after fertilization; any flowering plantCompare gymnosperm
1853, from Modern Latin Angiospermae, coined 1690 by German botanist Paul Hermann (1646-1695), from Greek angeion “vessel” (see angio-) + spermos, adjective from sperma “seed” (see sperm). So called because the seeds in this class of plants are enclosed.
- Any of a large group of plants that produce flowers. They develop seeds from ovules contained in ovaries, and the seeds are enclosed by fruits which develop from carpels. They are also distinguished by the process of double fertilization. The majority of angiosperms belong to two large classes: monocotyledons and eudicotyledons. The angiosperms are the largest phylum of living plants, existing in some 235,000 species. They range from small floating plants only one millimeter (0.04 inch) in length to towering trees that are over 100 meters (328 ft) tall. Compare gymnosperm.