Small RNAs are key regulators in plant growth and development. One subclass, phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs) require a trigger microRNA for their biogenesis. In grasses, two pathways yield abundant phasiRNAs during anther development; miR2275 triggers one class, 24-nt phasiRNAs, coincident with meiosis, while a second class of 21-nt phasiRNAs are present in premeiotic anthers. Here we report that the 24-nt phasiRNA pathway is widely present in flowering plants, indicating that 24-nt reproductive phasiRNAs likely originated with the evolutionary emergence of anthers. Deep comparative genomic analyses demonstrated that this miR2275/24-nt phasiRNA pathway is widely present in eudicots plants, however, it is absent in legumes and in the model plant Arabidopsis, demonstrating a dynamic evolutionary history of this pathway. In Solanaceae species, 24-nt phasiRNAs were observed, but the miR2275 trigger is missing and some loci displaying 12-nt phasing. Both the miR2275-triggered and Solanaceae 24-nt phasiRNAs are enriched in meiotic stages, implicating these phasiRNAs in anther and/or pollen development, a spatiotemporal pattern consistent in all angiosperm lineages that deploy them.