They have naked seeds, in contrast to the seeds or ovules of flowering plants (angiosperms) which are enclosed during pollination. Gymnosperm seeds develop either on the surface of scale- or leaf-like appendages of cones, or at the end of short stalks (Ginkgo).
↑The term comes from the Greek word (γυμνός) for "naked seed", gymnospermos.
↑Chung-Shien Wu, Ya-Nan Wang, Shu-Mei Liu and Shu-Miaw Chaw (2007). "Chloroplast Genome (cpDNA) of Cycas taitungensis and 56 cp protein-coding genes of Gnetum parvifolium: insights into cpDNA evolution and phylogeny of extant seed plants". Molecular Biology and Evolution24 (6): 1366–1379. doi:10.1093/molbev/msm059 .