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Plant life cycle

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Life cycle of a flowering plant (Angiosperm)

The plant life cycle is the cyclic process of reproduction from the beginning of plant life to the return to the starting state. The process involves a series of changes in form and includes germination, growth, asexual reproduction, and/or sexual reproduction.[1]

Alternation of Generations

Main Article: Alternation of generations

Alternation of generations is the mode of reproduction used by all plants, but most notably in ferns, mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. The unique life cycle is characterized by two distinct stages and involves both sexual and asexual reproduction. The Gametophyte stage creates male and female gametes, which then unite to form a sporophyte. The sporophyte then uses asexual reproduction to create spores which in turn germinate into the gametophyte. [2]

Notable Stages


Main Article: Pollination

Pollination is the process of transferring pollen from one anther to the receptive surface of the pistil in plants.[3] Pollination is most common in angiosperms, which are flowering plants. Although pollination occurs mostly in angiosperms pollen and pollen tubes are also used in gymnosperms. There are four types of pollination: cross pollination, self pollination, water pollination, and wind pollination. Cross pollination is the most common type of pollination in angiosperms, but the other techniques are also used. Cross pollination also includes animal pollination. This is where and animal or insect is involved in the pollination of a plant. Some examples of animals that are used in cross pollination are bees, ants, beetles, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds.<>



Length of Life Cycle





  1. Biological life cycle Wikipedia, Accessed August 4, 2014.
  2. Alternation of generation Wikipedia, Accessed August 4, 2014.
  3. Purves, William. Life the Science of Biology. 2005. Couriers Company Inc. G-21