Lycopodiophyta (formerly Lycophyta) – club mosses and lycopodium of carboniferous age with distinct gametophyte stage.
Pteridophyta – ferns, horsetails and whisk ferns. Ferns have not declined and even adapted to desert conditions, but prefer a moist habitat; 'trunk" is made of old leaf bases in tree ferns. Horsetails had tree forms in the past. Formerly Psilophyta. Whisk ferns are thought to be the most primitive vascular plants with no leaves, roots or cambium; they may be a link between lower and higher plants.
Cycadophyta – cycads e.g. Cycad revoluta (sago) from Permian age, found in Florida, Australia, Andes and Mexico. In decline.
Ginkgophyta – Ginkgo biloba is only living member of this division, dioecious.
Pinophyta ( formerly Coniferophyta) – conifers.
Gnetophyta - 70 species across the three genera: Gnetum, Welwitschia, and Ephedra.
Magnoliophyta (formerly Anthophyta) – flower-bearing, occupying a short time in the calendar of ages, consisting of monocotyledonous plants, with pith and cortex of random vascular bundle arrangement, and of dicotyledonous plants with vascular bundles in radial symmetrical order.
NOTES Updated 2013 (RP): Plant classification, although you would expect it to be something that was 'settled' a long time ago, is actually still a dynamic field particularly as we gain better understanding of plant relationships with each other through DNA (genetic) mapping. The current names of the different ranks is ruled on by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Most changes are occurring in the way flowering plants (Division Magnoliophyta above) are described.
As such some updates and corrections have been made to Erica’s original notes. In these notes she is listing Divisions of the plant kingdom. A Division is a major group of the plant hierarchical classification:
It is also important to note that Erica is only listing Vascular Plants – plants that have a system for the transport of fluids. As such, the Division Bryophyta – mosses and liverworts, which do not have a vascular system – is absent from the list.