The Plant List — A working list for all plant species

⚠ Version 1.1 of The Plant List has been superseded and should no longer be used.

The new version is available at The new version is enhanced, using more data sources including Taxonomic Expert Networks and will be more frequently updated.

The Gymnosperms (Conifers, cycads and allies)

Welwitschia mirabilis Hook.f.

Gymnosperms are seed-bearing vascular plants, such as cycads, ginkgo, yews and conifers, in which the ovules or seeds are not enclosed in an ovary. The word "gymnosperm" comes from the Greek word gymnospermos, meaning "naked seeds". Gymnosperm seeds develop either on the surface of scale or leaf-like appendages of cones, or at the end of short stalks.

The largest group of living gymnosperms are the conifers (pines, cypresses and relatives) and the smallest is ginkgo, a single living plant species found in China.

There are around 1000 species of gymnosperm.

You can also browse genera found in Gymnosperms.

View statistics at the bottom of the page.

Families in Gymnosperms


Species of Gymnosperms contained within The Plant List belong to 12 plant families and 88 plant genera.

The Plant List includes 4,651 scientific plant names of species rank for the Gymnosperms. Of these 1,104 are accepted species names.

The Plant List includes a further 3,676 scientific plant names of infraspecific rank for the Gymnosperms. We do not intend The Plant List to be complete for names of infraspecific rank. These are primarily included because names of species rank are synonyms of accepted infraspecific names.

Species names

The status of the 4,651 species names for the Gymnosperms recorded in The Plant List, are as follows:

Pie chart of binomial name statuses
Status Total
Accepted 1,104 23.7%
Synonym 3,356 72.2%
Unplaced 0 0%
Unassessed 191 4.1%

All names

The status of the 8,327 names (including infraspecific names) for the Gymnosperms recorded in The Plant List, are as follows:

Pie chart of all name statuses
Status Total
Accepted 1,293 15.5%
Synonym 6,832 82.0%
Unplaced 0 0%
Unassessed 202 2.4%

Of the species names,

A further 9 name records indicate where names have been misapplied.

The confidence with which the status of the 4,651 species names recorded in The Plant List for the Gymnosperms, are assigned as follows:

Confidence level Accepted Synonym Unplaced Unassessed Total
High confidence 1,080 3,154 0 0 4,234 91.0%
Medium confidence 21 134 0 0 155 3.3%
Low confidence 3 68 0 191 262 5.6%

The source of the species name records found in The Plant List for the Gymnosperms is as follows:

Source of record Accepted Synonym Unplaced Unassessed Misapplied Total
Tropicos 21 136 0 113 0 270 5.8%
WCSP 1,083 3,220 0 77 9 4,380 94.2%
WCSP (in review) 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.0%