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My kids and I are doing a fun project collecting pictures of life in parks and national parks around us. We are trying to classify what we find down to genus and species.

However, I'm confused about what the plant phyla are. With animals, it is pretty clear (e.g. arthropods, chordates), but I don't understand what they are for plants. I see informal groupings and divisions, but not what phyla.

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So I may cite from Wikipedia:

The term phylum was coined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel from the Greek phylon (φῦλον, "race, stock"), related to phyle (φυλή, "tribe, clan").[4] In plant taxonomy, August W. Eichler (1883) classified plants into five groups named divisions, a term that remains in use today for groups of plants, algae and fungi.[1][5] The definitions of zoological phyla have changed from their origins in the six Linnaean classes and the four embranchements of Georges Cuvier.[6]

Informally, phyla can be thought of as groupings of organisms based on general specialization of body plan.[7] At its most basic, a phylum can be defined in two ways: as a group of organisms with a certain degree of morphological or developmental similarity (the phenetic definition), or a group of organisms with a certain degree of evolutionary relatedness (the phylogenetic definition).[8] Attempting to define a level of the Linnean hierarchy without referring to (evolutionary) relatedness is unsatisfactory, but a phenetic definition is useful when addressing questions of a morphological nature—such as how successful different body plans were.

I recommend reading the full article... It is really well-written

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Phyta means plant... The different 'phytae' mark different levels in the taxonomy...

Example:

Streptophyta from the Greek strepto, for twisted, i.e., the morphology of the sperm of some members and phyta (plant), a group including land plants and some algae

Embryophyta - land plants

Tracheophyta - vascular plants (from Ancient Greek τραχεῖα (trakheîa, “windpipe”) +‎ -ophyta)

To answer your question... Phyta is a part of many plant taxonomy levels... It is not one type of plant but it marks the membership of a group to the kingdom of plants.

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  • $\begingroup$ What I was really wanting to know was what the plant phylums (or phyla) are. My confused brain thought phyta = phyla. So your answer was perfect--it was just that I was asking the wrong question and didn't realize it. I've updated my question to ask what I was really asking. $\endgroup$ – labyrinth Sep 30 '18 at 0:59

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