PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Plant evolution, diagram. Thirteen major groupings of plants are shown over four geologic time periods from 542 million years ago to 65 million years ago. There are four independent groupings: the club mosses, the horsetails and the ferns (all three at left), and the ginkgoes (far right). At centre are the cycads, seed ferns and cycadeoids, which are related. The seed ferns led to the evolution of flowering plants (top) which now dominate plant life on Earth. At right are the primitive conifers, which led to the evolution of the pines, redwoods and cypresses, the Auraucaria, and the podocarps.
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