The angiosperms are the flowering plants. They are slowly replacing the gymnosperms. They exploded onto the scene around 100 million years ago, and were an unqualified success. There are over 250,000 species, and they have adapted to almost every habitat on earth.
Flowering plants reproduce sexually by means of flowers and seeds contained in fruit. They reproduce faster than gymnosperms, and have more efficient xylem vessels (containing cells called vessel elements).
Angiosperms are divided into two groups, the monocots and the dicots.
Monocots, sometimes called monocotyledons, have long tapering leaves with parallel veins, the flower petals come in multiples of three, have scattered vascular bundles, and the seeds have only one cotyledon.
Famous monocots include the lilies, orchids, irises, yams, asparagus, waterweeds, and a number of palm-like tropical trees.
Dicots, AKA the dicotyledons, have broad leaves with webed veins, the flower petals come in multiples of four or five, the vascular bundles are arranged in a circle, and the seeds have two cotyledons.
Well-known dicots include the sunflower, dandelion, forget-me-not, cabbage, melon, apple, orange, buttercup, maple, and macadamia nut.