The anthophytes are a grouping of plant taxa bearing flower-like reproductive structures. They were formerly thought[when?][by whom?] to be a clade comprising plants bearing flower-like structures. The group contained the angiosperms - the extant flowering plants, such as roses and grasses - as well as the Gnetales and the extinct Bennettitales.[1]

Detailed morphological and molecular studies have shown that the group is not actually monophyletic,[2] with proposed floral homologies of the gnetophytes and the angiosperms having evolved in parallel.[3] This makes it easier to reconcile molecular clock data that suggests that the angiosperms diverged from the gymnosperms around 320-300 mya.[4]

Some more recent studies have used the word anthophyte to describe a group which includes the angiosperms and a variety of fossils (glossopterids, Pentoxylon, Bennettitales, and Caytonia), but not the Gnetales.[5]


  1. ^ Doyle, J. A.; Donoghue, M. J. (1986). "SEED PLANT PHYLOGENY AND THE ORIGIN OF ANGIOSPERMS - AN EXPERIMENTAL CLADISTIC APPROACH". Botanical Review. 52 (4): 321–431. doi:10.1007/bf02861082.
  2. ^ Coiro, Mario; Chomicki, Guillaume; Doyle, James A. (n.d.). "Experimental signal dissection and method sensitivity analyses reaffirm the potential of fossils and morphology in the resolution of the relationship of angiosperms and Gnetales". Paleobiology: 1–21. doi:10.1017/pab.2018.23. ISSN 0094-8373.
  3. ^ a b Crepet, W. L. (2000). "Progress in understanding angiosperm history, success, and relationships: Darwin's abominably "perplexing phenomenon"". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 97 (24): 12939–41. Bibcode:2000PNAS...9712939C. doi:10.1073/pnas.97.24.12939. PMC 34068. PMID 11087846.
  4. ^ Nam J.; et al. (2003). "Antiquity and Evolution of the MADS-Box Gene Family Controlling Flower Development in Plants". Mol. Biol. Evol. 20 (9): 1435–1447. doi:10.1093/molbev/msg152. PMID 12777513.
  5. ^ Soltis, D. E.; Bell, CD; Kim, S; Soltis, PS (June 2008). "The Year in Evolutionary Biology 2008". Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1133 (1): 3–25. CiteSeerX doi:10.1196/annals.1438.005. PMID 18559813. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009.