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Vascular plant

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Vascular Plants
Temporal range:
mid Silurian – present
Scientific classification

The vascular plants, or tracheophytes, are plants that have specialized tissues for conducting water, minerals, and photosynthetic products through the plant. They include the ferns, clubmosses, horsetails, flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms.[1] They are often called the higher plants.[2][3][4][5]

The vascular plants are set apart in two main ways:

  1. Vascular plants have vascular tissues, which circulate resources through the plant. This feature allows vascular plants to grow to a larger size than non-vascular plants, which lack these specialized conducting tissues and are therefore restricted to relatively small sizes.
  2. In vascular plants, the principal generation phase is the sporophyte, which is diploid with two sets of chromosomes per cell.[6]

Water transport happens in either xylem or phloem: xylem carries water and inorganic solutes upward toward the leaves from the roots, while phloem carries organic solutes throughout the plant.


Related pages


  1. Scientific names are Tracheophyta and Tracheobionta, but neither is very widely used.
  2. Kenrick, Paul & Peter R. Crane 1997. The origin and early diversification of land plants: a cladistic study. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 1-56098-730-8.
  3. Christenhusz, Maarten J M. (2011). "A new classification and linear sequence of extant gymnosperms". Phytotaxa 19: 55–70. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.19.1.3 . 
  4. Smith, Alan R. (2006). "A classification for extant ferns". Taxon 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646 . 
  5. Christenhusz, Maarten J.M. (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns". Phytotaxa 19: 7–54. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.19.1.2 . 
  6. In non-vascular plants, the principal generation phase is often the gametophyte, which is haploid with one set of chromosomes per cell.