three genera of woody plants grouped in the gymnosperms.
tropical evergreen trees, shrubs and lianas.
has vessel elements as in the flowering plants. In some classifications, all three genera are placed in a single order (Gnetales) but in others distributed among three orders, each containing a single family and genus.
The three extant genera of gnetophytes, a “bizarre and enigmatic” trio, are likely aberrant members of the group, which was diverse and dominant in the Tertiary. Some synapomorphies of the gnetophytes include enveloping bracts around the ovules and microsporangia, and a micropylar projection of the outer membrane of the ovule that produces a pollination droplet.