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A plant is a stationery living organism with no means of locomotion, and as such needs to absorb nutrients from its surroundings for food and growth. Typically plants have roots which are plant organs that lie below the surface of the soil; however, some types of plants have aerial roots. Plants contain chlorophyl which gives them a green color, and use energy from sunlight and the process of photosynthesis to develop, grow, flower, and produce seeds for reproduction. Biologists group plants under the Kingdom Plantae category within the scientific classification chart.

A Plant is a Living Organism

Types of Ornamental Plants

Plant Cells

What is a plant

A plant is a living organism and needs to absorb nutrients from its surroundings in order to grow and survive.


Plants, or green plants as they are often referred as, are living organisms that have cell walls with cellulose, and obtain most of their energy from sunlight through a process known as photosynthesis. Greens plants contain chlorophyll and this is what gives them their green color. Green Plants include: flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns, mosses, hornworts, clubhouses, liverworts, and green algae. Non-Green plants include: red and brown algae, the fungi, archaea, bacteria and animals.

Plant Guide

Use our below plant guide to learn about the most important features of plants.

  • Plant Structure
  • Plant Development
  • Plant Growth
  • Plant Life Cycle
  • Parts of a Plant
  • Plant Reproduction

  • Growing Plants
  • When to Plant
  • Plant Zones
  • Landscape Garden Plants
  • Plant Soil
  • Identify a Plant

  • Types of Plants
  • Ornamental Plants
  • Medical Plants
  • Importance of Plants
  • Plant Culture
  • Flowering Plants

Kinds of Plants

Kinds of Plants include: Forb/Herb. Graminoid. Lichenous. Liana. Non Vascular. Shrub. Subshrub. Tree. Vine.

Plant Categories

Plants as living organisms can be grouped into the following types of plant categories: Dicot, Fern, Green Algae, Gymnosperm, Hornwort, Horsetail, Lichen, Liverwort, Lycopod Monocot, Moss, Quillwort, and Whiskfern. Learn more…

Plant Life Cycle

The plant life cycle refers the lifespan duration or biological life of different plants from the time they sprout, to the time they grow into a mature plant, to producing fruits and seeds, to the time they die. The new seeds begin the new life cycle for the plant species. The life cycle is generally common to flowering plants. Plant life cycle can be grouped into the following categories: Annual Plants, Biennial Plants, and Perennial Plants. Learn more…

Plant Growth

The process of photosynthesis is the main basis for green plant growth, structure, and development. Plant roots also absorb nutrients from their surroundings. By using the energy in sunlight together with water absorption, plants convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into simple sugars. Some plants are parasitic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. These types of plants use the resources of its host to grow.

Plant Soil

Plants primarily rely on soil combined with water for nutrient absorption. The soil usually contains compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and other elemental nutrients. Plants with aerial roots systems (Epiphytic or Lithophytic) rely on air and nearby debris for nutrients. Carnivorous plants supplement their requirements of nutrients from the insect prey that they capture. Plants use oxygen and glucose (stored starch) to provide energy for growth. Some plants have roots systems that don’t need soil but have adapted to grow submerged in water. These plants use the oxygen dissolved in the surrounding water.

Plant Reproduction

Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is also common.

Plant Species

There are over three hundred thousand plant species recorded, with many more yet to be discovered or cataloged. The vast majority, over two hundred and sixty thousand are seed plants.

Green Plants Provide Oxygen

Green plants provide most of the world’s molecular oxygen. The ability to breath oxygen is the basis for most of earth’s ecologies, especially for land animals.

Plants Produce

Plants produce grains, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The majority of humankind’s basic foodstuffs come from growing different types of plants.

Ornamental Plants

Plants have always played a role in culture and a large variety of ornamental plants are widely and commercially grown. Learn more…

Medical Plants

Plants serve as a source of most of the medicines and drugs that humans use for health and wellness. Medical plants form part of the scientific study known as botany, which is a branch of biology.

Plant Classification

Within scientific classification plants belong to the Kingdom Vegetabilia (Metaphyta or Plantae). There are also several unrelated groups such as fungi and several groups of algae that are not part of Kingdom Plantae but are often considered as plants. Traditionally the term “plant” implies that the organism must have certain traits such as being multicellular, possess cellulose, and have the ability to carry out photosynthesis.

Plantae or plant is applied to a specific group of organisms:

Land Plants

This group includes the liverworts, hornworts, mosses, and vascular plants, as well as fossil plants similar to these surviving groups.

Green Plants

This group includes the green algae, and land plants that emerged within them, including stoneworts. A group of organisms that have cellulose in their cell walls, possess chlorophylls a and b and have plastids that are bound by only two membranes that are capable of storing starch.


Archaeplastida, Plastida or Primoplantae Plantae. This group comprises all green plants, plus Rhodophyta (red algae) and Glaucophyta (glaucophyte algae). This clade includes the organisms that eons ago acquired their chloroplasts directly by engulfing cyanobacteria.

Old Definitions of Plant

Old classifications placed diverse algae, fungi or bacteria in Plantae (e.g., Plantae or Vegetabilia Linnaeus, Metaphyta).

Plant Types

Plant types: Shrubs, Trees, Flowering Plants, Foliage. Climbing.

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The Importance of Plants

The importance of plants in today’s society is immeasurable, and agriculture has played a primary role in the evolution of human civilization. The focus of modern cultivated plants can be broken down into three primary segments: agronomy, horticulture, and forestry.

Plants for Food and Beverages

Feeding the planet is not just about feeding human beings. Plants are the major source of nutrition for all the people and all the animals living on planet earth. Agriculture deals with planting, raising, nutrition, and harvest of all types of food crops. Plants also play a key role in the flavoring of many beverages. Large areas in many countries are dedicated to the cultivation of plants both for local consumption and for export around the world. Some of the plants being grown serve to feed livestock and some serve as food for human consumption, including vegetable, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains. Other plants are used to flavor beverages either by infusion (coffee or tea), fermentation (beer or wine), or distillation (whisky or rum).

Plants for Non Food Products

Plants are essential for many of the non food products that people need and use on a daily basis. Products made from plants include shampoo, soap, perfume, cosmetics, paint, rubber, latex, lubricants, plastics, inks, and gum. Plants are the source of many natural products like dyes, pigments, waxes, and resins. Even many renewable fuels including peat, firewood, and newer biofuels are derived from plants. Even petroleum and coal which are fossil fuels are derived from the remains of plants. Many of the products used for construction are plant based. Even many clothes made from plants like cotton. Plants are also a primary source of basic chemicals. Medicines derived from plants include aspirin and morphine. Certain plants contain psychotropic chemicals including tobacco and cannabis. Even poisons comes from plants.

Aesthetic Use of Plants

Plants are cultivated for many purposes. Some are grown for the aesthetic use of plants. Some of the most common uses of plants include: to provide shade, change temperatures, as wind breakers, for noise reduction, to provide privacy, and also to prevent soil erosion.Plants are also very popular and have a big following. There are societies and botanical gardens which millions of people join or visit each year. There are also historic gardens, rainforests, national parks, and flower festivals. Arboretums and botanical gardens are collections of living plants for the public to visit.

Private outdoor gardens in the back of homes, lawn grasses, shade trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous perennials and bedding plants are all aesthetic uses of plants. Landscaping can be done in design styles, from wild gardens, to sculpted gardens, or in topiary or espalier shapes. Gardening is the most popular leisure activity in the United States. Plants are also grown or kept indoors as houseplants. There are also specialized temperature controlled structures such as greenhouses that are designed for the care and cultivation of living plants in any weather. There is also a market for novelty plants. An example of such plants is the Venus Flytrap. Flower from plants are also popular as gift items or at take home bouquets. Floral designers or florists specialize in the art of flower arrangements using cut flowers and plants. Flower delivery is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Plants for Scientific

Biological research is an important segment within the scientific study of plants. Plants have been studied and cataloged for centuries and today genetics and breeding play an ever increasing and sometimes controversial role in development of new and improved plant varieties. Scientist try to understand what genes control the growth and development of plant structures. Increased productivity, the ability to withstand pest damage, and immunity to common plant diseases, are the primary focus of breeders and propagators.

Plants for Cultural Use

For thousands of years plants have figured prominently in mythology, religion and literature. Plants and flowers are in use as national and state emblems. There is even a list of state trees and state flowers for most countries. Plants have become increasingly representative of emotions.

Across the world, and across most cultures, flowering plants are used in funerals, memorials, and as a measure of sympathy. When it comes to gift giving and celebrations flowers are second to none. Plants and flowers are used as the symbol to mark special occasions such as births, weddings, anniversaries, and many holidays. Event decor is never without the use of flowers and there are plants in very shape, size, and color to make every occasion unique.

And when it comes to love, flower delivery in the form of floral arrangements, flower bouquets, or flowering plants will always be cupids first choice. Each flower has a meaning and they are often used to send hidden messages. Plant and flower delivery are an enormous industry and the power of the internet has only helped to make shopping for online flowers even more convenient. St. Valentine’s Day is great example of the power of flowers, and red roses in particular, and their cultural significance of plants on this particular holiday. Plants and flowers touch everyone and are part of life’s most inspiring and unforgettable moments.

Plants as a Consumer Product

Many plants produce large clusters of flowers that flaunt impossible to resist old-world charm, and demand for ornamental plants has always been a part of human culture. The consumer appetite is not just for flowering plants but also for foliage plants. Plants as a consumer product are a multi-billion dollar industry. Different types of plants can be found in florist shops, grocery stores, and garden nurseries. The three main consumer product types for plants are: cut flowers, greenhouse grown house plants, and landscape gardening plants. Learn more…

Negative Effects of Plants

Plants are not always beneficial especially when left unchecked. One of the biggest negative effects of plants are weeds. Weeds are an unwanted plant that was not intentionally cultivated but becomes invasive in a garden or farm. In other instances where people introduce non native varieties of plants they can quickly become invasive and overpower and displace the native species and in turn damaging the ecosystem. Invasive plants can damage crops.

Other plants may cause harm to people and to animals. Some plants produce wind blown pollen which triggers allergic reactions from people who suffer from hay fever. Many varieties of plants are also poisonous. Other can cause skin irritations such as poison ivy. Some plant varieties contain psychotropic chemicals, which when extracted, ingested, or smoked (tobacco, marijuana, cocaine) can cause damage to health and addiction. Some of these plants are illegal in many societies. People react differently to plants especially when they are ingested. Food intolerance from plant products in a major concern for today’s society and can have negative health effects on a parts of the population. One example is gluten intolerance. Many people attribute some of these intolerances to genetically modified crops such as wheat.

When to Plant

Planting Almanac. When to plant your garden. Planting by season by types of plants.

Plant. A plant is a living organism. Green Plants. Kingdom Plantae. Plants produce food, vegetables, flowers, foliage. Provide Oxygen. Root System.

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