Most annexins are calcium-dependent, phospholipid-binding proteins with suggested functions in response to environmental stresses and signaling during plant growth and development. They have previously been identified and characterized in Arabidopsis and rice, and constitute a multigene family in plants. In this study, we performed a comparative analysis of annexin gene families in the sequenced genomes of Viridiplantae ranging from unicellular green algae to multicellular plants, and identified 149 genes. Phylogenetic studies of these deduced annexins classified them into nine different arbitrary groups. The occurrence and distribution of bona fide type II calcium binding sites within the four annexin domains were found to be different in each of these groups. Analysis of chromosomal distribution of annexin genes in rice, Arabidopsis and poplar revealed their localization on various chromosomes with some members also found on duplicated chromosomal segments leading to gene family expansion. Analysis of gene structure suggests sequential or differential loss of introns during the evolution of land plant annexin genes. Intron positions and phases are well conserved in annexin genes from representative genomes ranging from Physcomitrella to higher plants. The occurrence of alternative motifs such as K/R/HGD was found to be overlapping or at the mutated regions of the type II calcium binding sites indicating potential functional divergence in certain plant annexins. This study provides a basis for further functional analysis and characterization of annexin multigene families in the plant lineage.