Common poppy and forking larkspur in a flower meadow

Flowering plants

Flowering plants evolved during the time of the dinosaurs, and enlisted the help of animals to transfer their pollen from one plant to another. The fact that many flowers are brightly coloured or have strong scents is not to please human senses, but to attract the insects, birds or other animals that will help pollinate them. There are over a quarter of a million types of flowering plant.

Scientific name: Magnoliophyta

Rank: Phylum

Common names:

  • Angiosperms ,
  • Flowering plants

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Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Plants
  3. Flowering plants

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Timelapse photography: speeding up life Timelapse photography: speeding up life

    Some of the most memorable sequences in natural history result from timelapse photography, an astonishing filming technique that opens our eyes to a whole new world.