Most classification systems today separate the extant gymnosperms into four distinct divisions: Coniferophyta
, Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, and Gnetophyta (Flora of North America, 1993b).
On the contrary, botanists classify it in the phylum Gnetophyta, along with Gnetum and Ephedra, rather than in the phylum Coniferophyta
Cycads are related to conifers and come from the plant division Coniferophyta
, also known as the Gymnosperms, which literally means naked seeds, which are at the primitive end of the plant kingdom, but they are survivors, having been around for 250 million years or so.
It is in the plant kingdom and in the division of Coniferophyta
, the class of Pinopsida and family of Pinace.
Even though Schweitzer and Kirchner (1996) retain this family in the Coniferophyta
, there remains too much uncertainty about the structure of the fructifications to include the family in this study.