Flowering plants, or angiosperms, make up approximately 90 percent of the plant kingdom. With more than 230,000 identified species and several unnamed, flowering plants are everywhere on the planet. The life cycle of a flowering plant is cut down into three general stages in growth and life cycle.
Angiosperms begin as seeds. Contained within each seed is an embryo and reserved nutrients to aid in its growth. The casing of the seed is the protective shell that allows the embryo of the plant to incubate. Seeds can be a variety of shapes, sizes and textures, but ordinarily the larger the seed, the more nutrients are stored to supplement the plant's growth.
Seeds are released by mature plants and are often carried away by elements like wind and water, but sometimes small mammals and birds consume the seeds and transport them to different areas in their wastes. When the seeds are either planted, or transported via natural sources, they begin to germinate.
Germination occurs when the flowering plant seed has been given the proper environment for growth. Proper soil pH balance, moisture and adequate sunlight are demanded by many seeds. First, the root emerges from the seed casing and anchors itself into the soil. Within a few to several days, a shoot will emerge from the top of the seed casing, as the roots continue to grow. Eventually, the seed casing is shed completely, and a flowering plant sprout emerges.