• Recently, India’s first cryptogamic garden was inaugurated in the Chakrata town of Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • The garden will be housing nearly 50 species of lichens, ferns and fungi (collectively known as Cryptogamae).
  • Plant kingdom can be divided into two sub-kingdoms viz. Cryptogams and phanerogams.
  • Cryptogams consist of seedless plants and plant-like organisms whereas phanerogams consist of seed-bearing plants.
  • Phanerogams are further divided into two classes i.e. gymnosperms and angiosperms.

Important points:

  • This garden is at Deoban in Chakrata at a height of 9,000 ft.
  • This site is chosen because of its low pollution levels and moist conditions which are conducive for the growth of these species.
  • Further, Deoban has pristine majestic forests of Deodar and Oak which create a natural habitat for cryptogamic species.


  • A cryptogam is a plant that reproduces with the help of spores.
  • The word “Cryptogamae” implies ‘hidden reproduction’, referring to the fact that they do not produce any reproductive structure, seed, or flower.
  • Due to this, they are called “flowerless” or “seedless plants” or ‘lower plants’.
  • They need a moist environment to survive.
  • These are present in aquatic and terrestrial places.
  • Algae, bryophytes, lichens, ferns and fungi are the best-known groups of cryptogams.
  • Classification of Cryptogams: Cryptogams are classified into 3 groups based on the various structural and functional criteria of the plant.
  • Thallophyta is a division of the plant kingdom including primitive forms of plant life showing a simple plant body. They lack roots, stems, or leaves.
  • It includes algae-like Spirogyra, Sargassum, etc.
  • They are predominantly aquatic and found both in marine as well as freshwater habitats.
  • Bryophytes comprise a limited variety of non-vascular land plants. They prefer moist habitats but they can survive in dry environments too. Example- hornworts, liverworts, mosses, etc.
  • They occupy an intermediate position between algae and pteridophytes.
  • Since bryophytes can survive in both water and land, they are considered as the ‘amphibians of the plant kingdom’.
  • A pteridophyte is a vascular plant that disperses spores. It is the first plant to have xylem and phloem.
  • Ferns are the largest living group of primitive vascular plants.


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