Lane, Meredith A. University of Kansas Herbarium, Lawrence, Kansas.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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An organism that belongs to the kingdom Plantae in biological classification. A plant (see illustration) is a member of the taxonomic kingdom Plantae and is generally distinguished by the presence of chlorophyll, a rigid cell wall, and abundant, persistent, active embryonic tissue. It also lacks the power of locomotion. In the past, the kingdom Plantae comprised any organism that was not considered to be an animal; this meant that all fungi and algae, and even bacteria, were classified as members of the kingdom Plantae. Today, in the most commonly accepted modern classifications (the five- and six-kingdom systems), fungi, bacteria, and some algae belong to separate kingdoms rather than to the plant kingdom. However, depending on the exact classification scheme, certain algae are still considered to belong to the kingdom Plantae. In general, the study of plants is called plant biology or botany. See also: Algae; Biological classification; Botany; Cell walls (plant); Chlorophyll; Fungi; Plant kingdom; Plant taxonomy
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