In many fern-like plants of this period the fronds were dimorphic, the fertile leaves or pinnae having a form quite different from that of the vegetative portions.
Palaeontological evidence conclusively proves that the surface of the earth has been successively occupied by vegetative forms of increasing complexity, rising from the simplest algae to the most highly organized flowering plant.
Thallophyta are the most lowly organized plants and include a great variety of forms, the vegetative portion of which consists of a single cell or a number of cells forming a more or less branched thallus.
Heterangium shows, on the whole, a decided preponderance of Filicinean vegetative characters, though in the leaf-traces and the secondary tissues the Cycads are approached.
Filicales and Gymnosperms, and known as the Cycadofihices, a group in which, curiously enough, the reproductive organs remained undiscovered for some time after the anatomy of the vegetative organs was sufficiently well known to afford clear evidence of their true affinities.
This nuclear association of equivalent nuclei apparently represents a reduced sexual process (like the fusion of female nuclei in Humaria granulate and of vegetative nuclei in H.
This is the first case in which the pollen-bearing organs of a Ptoridosperm have been identified with certainty It will be seen that, while the seeds of Lyginodendron were of an advanced Cycadean type, the microsporangiate organs were more like those of a Fern, the reproductive organs thus showing the same combination of characters which appears in the vegetative ct pc. A, Micropylar region.
Coniferous twigs are very common in Mesozoic strata, but in most cases we are compelled to refer them to provisional genera, as the evidence of vegetative shoots alone is not sufficient to enable us to determine their position within the Coniferae.
In this way we may distinguish, first, vegetative reproduction, the result of discontinuous growth of the tissues and cell-layers of the body as a whole, leading to (I) fission, (2) autotomy, or (3) vegetative budding; secondly, germinal reproduction, the result of the reproductive activity of the archaeocytes or germinal tissue.
We readily recognize in them nowadays the natural classes of Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons distinguished alike in vegetative and in reproductive construction, yet showing remarkable parallel sequences in development; and we see that the Dicotyledons are the more advanced and show the greater capacity for further progressive evolution.