Difference Between Flowering & Non Flowering Plants

While flowering plants dominate most yards, they are relative newcomers compared to several more ancient groups of non-flowering plants. These crops differ in several important ways — in addition to their history — which affect where they live, how they reproduce and how they can benefit a landscape.


Even though the green of chlorophyll is at all plants, harvesting sunlight for photosynthesis, other vibrant colours are virtually exclusive to flowering plants. This is because the majority of non-flowering plants, such as conifers, ferns and moss, don’t comprise exclusive relationships with insects or animals. The energy needed to make flowers is, rather, allocated to the production of catkins and cones that disperse pollen.


More older than flowering plants, non-flowering plants utilize the wind and, sometimes, the water to pollinate. In the example of moss near landscape slopes, this limits their ability to spread throughout a landscape, because they need receptive 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 with the air, many use creatures to take pollen from one plant to another. This increases the chances of successful sexual reproduction.


Flowering plants follow a cycle which depends upon the seasons, first creating green leaves during the growing season with flowers which attract insects, animals and birds, then losing their leaves in the winter, saving their energy during the season while prospective pollinators and liquid water are less available. Non-flowering plants, such as conifers, also close down partially in the winter but remain green and can photosynthesize, given ample opportunity. These nonflowering plants help ensure a consistent look in a landscape during the year.

Animal Attraction

A key difference between flowering and nonflowering plants is the way animals are drawn to every kind of plant. While both are susceptible to potential pests, such as insects and tiny mammals, flowering plants also attract birds, butterflies and mammals that do not harm the plant, rather harvesting nectar and pollen for food. If you are looking to add life and color to your gardens with beneficial insects, flowering plants are a suitable option.

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