What Are Vascular Plants

Vascular plants are plants that have lignified tissues that are used to move water and nutrients throughout a plant.

There are many members of the Vascular plants family, including but not limited to some ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. There is more than one scientific name for Vascular plants, with the most common being Tracheophyta.

In order for a plant to be a vascular plant, it needs to meet 2 main characteristics.

The 1st character trait Vascular plants must possess, is vascular tissue which are used by the plant to transport water, nutrients, and other important resources throughout the plant. This main characteristic gives Vascular plants the ability to grow much larger than nonVascular plants.

The 2nd character trait Vascular plants must possess, is a sporophyte generation phase, while non Vascular plants have a gametophyte generation phase.

The 3 most important parts of every Vascular plants are the roots, the stems, the leaves, and where applicable the flowers. It is in these parts of the plant that the most important characteristics of Vascular plants exist.

Unlike Vascular plants, nonVascular plants lack a wide variety of specialized tissues. While there are a few non vascular plant species that appear to have leaves, but because they lack xylem & phloem, they are not leaves in the true sense of the word.

Vascular plants have 2 distinct sets of “tubes” called xylem and phloem that run the length of the plant, from roots, through the stems and finally to the leaves. One of these tube sets transport water, while the other set transports nutrients to the plant.

Water and nutrients are absorbed by the Vascular plants roots, separated into water and nutrients, and sent to their respective tube sets.

Most plant life on earth are Vascular plants, with a only a small percentage being non Vascular plants.

Because nonVascular plants are unable to form wood in order to increase their strength, non Vascular plants will never be able to grow as large as Vascular plants.

Vascular plants will thrive in almost any climate as long as their needs for sunlight, water, and the correct temperatures have been met.

To the contrary, non Vascular plants must remain in shaded, damp areas, as they can only absorb water through their surface. Sunny, and warm environments are detrimental to non Vascular plants health.

The earliest known Vascular plants date back to as long as 400 million years ago. Vascular plants are also the first plants we found fossils of.

While these early Vascular plants are related to the Vascular plants we are familiar with today, they were very different.

You see Vascular plants every time you go to the grocery store, and every time you stop to smell the roses. Without Vascular plants, planet Earth would be a very different place.

It’s true that the earliest known plant life on earth was non Vascular plants, it wasn’t long before Vascular plants quickly became the dominant type of plant on earth.

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