Standard Article


  1. Del Meidinger

Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003680



How to Cite

Meidinger, D. 2005. Gymnosperms. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. BC Ministry of Forests, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (19 SEP 2013)


Gymnosperms are a diverse group of plants with the common characteristic of having a ‘naked’, or unprotected, seed. Historically common, today only about 900 species exist worldwide. Though found in a wide variety of habitats, gymnosperms dominate many northern hemisphere landscapes.


  • conifers;
  • cycads;
  • Ginkgo;
  • gnetophytes