Flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), meaning hidden seeds in Greek, are the most diverse group of land plants with 64 orders, 416 families, approximately 13,000 known genera and 300,000 known species.Like gymnosperms, angiosperms, which are also known by Magnoliophyta (), are seed-producing plants. They are distinguished from gymnosperms by characteristics including flowers, endosperm within their seeds, and the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, "angiosperm" literally means a plant that produces seeds within an enclosure; in other words, a fruiting plant. The term comes from the Greek words angeion ('case') and sperma ('seed').
The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from the common ancestor of all living gymnosperms during the Carboniferous, over 300 million years ago, with the earliest record of angiosperm pollen appearing around 134 million years ago. The first remains of flowering plants are known from 125 million years ago. They diversified extensively during the Early Cretaceous, became widespread by 120 million years ago, and replaced conifers as the dominant trees from 60 to 100 million years ago.