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Diversity of plants image version 5.png
Plants are a major group of life forms and include familiar organisms such as trees, herbs, shrubs, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. About 350,000 species of plants, defined as seed plants, bryophytes, ferns and fern allies, are estimated to exist currently. As of 2004, some 287,655 species had been identified, of which 258,650 are flowering and 15,000 bryophytes. Green plants, sometimes called metaphytes, obtain most of their energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis.

Aristotle divided all living things between plants (which generally do not move), and animals (which often are mobile to catch their food). In Linnaeus' system, these became the Kingdoms Vegetabilia (later Metaphyta or Plantae) and Animalia (also called Metazoa). Since then, it has become clear that the Plantae as originally defined included several unrelated groups, and the fungi and several groups of algae were removed to new kingdoms. However, these are still often considered plants in many contexts, both technical and popular. Indeed, an attempt to perfectly match "plant" with a single taxon is problematic, because for most people the term plant is only vaguely related to the phylogenic concepts on which modern taxonomy and systematics are based.

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Inflorescence of Carex binervis
Carex binervis, the green-ribbed sedge, is a European species of sedge with an Atlantic distribution. It is found from Fennoscandia to the Iberian Peninsula, and occurs in heaths, moorland and other damp, acidic environments. It typically grows to a height of 15–120 cm (6–50 in), and has inflorescences comprising one male and several female spikes, each up to 45 mm (1.8 in) long. The utricles have two conspicuous green veins, which give rise to both the scientific name and the common name of the species. In the vegetative state, it closely resembles C. bigelowii, a species that usually grows at higher altitude. C. binervis was first descrbed by James Edward Smith in 1800, and is classified in Carex sect. Spirostachyae; several hybrids with other Carex species are known.

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Blessed milk thistle
Cscr-featured.svg Credit: Fir0002

The flower of a Blessed milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world and considered an invasive weed. Thistles can be toxic to cattle and sheep, but their extract can be used to cure amanita poisoning. A different extract can also be found in Rockstar Energy Drink.

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Related topics


  1. Describe all families, genera and species of the kingdom Plantae.
  2. For species, describe botanical properties, distribution, multiplication, usage (medicine, food, etc.), botanical history, cultivation information.
  3. Develop and implement a robust method of naming plant article for the ease of navigation and searching for Wikipedia users.
  4. Maintain Category:Plants and its subcategories.

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