Vascular plant

Vascular plants
Athyrium filix-femina.jpg
SilurianHolocene,[1] 425–0 Ma[2]
Scientific classification edit
Sinnott, 1935[3] ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998[4]
† Extinct

Vascular plants (from Latin vasculum: duct), also known as tracheophytes (from the equivalent Greek term trachea) and also as higher plants, form a large group of plants (c. 308,312 accepted known species[5]) that are defined as those land plants that have lignified tissues (the xylem) for conducting water and minerals throughout the plant. They also have a specialized non-lignified tissue (the phloem) to conduct products of photosynthesis. Vascular plants include the clubmosses, horsetails, ferns, gymnosperms (including conifers) and angiosperms (flowering plants). Scientific names for the group include Tracheophyta[6][4]:251 and Tracheobionta.[7]


Vascular plants are distinguished by two primary characteristics:

  1. Vascular plants have vascular tissues which distribute resources through the plant. This feature allows vascular plants to evolve 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 usually diploid with two sets of chromosomes per cell. Only the germ cells and gametophytes are haploid. By contrast, the principal generation phase in non-vascular plants is the gametophyte, which is haploid with one set of chromosomes per cell. In these plants, only the spore stalk and capsule are diploid.

The formal definition of the division Tracheophyta encompasses both these characteristics in the Latin phrase "facies diploida xylem et phloem instructa" (diploid phase with xylem and phloem).[4]:251

One possible mechanism for the presumed switch from emphasis on the haploid generation to emphasis on the diploid generation is the greater efficiency in spore dispersal with more complex diploid structures. In other words, elaboration of the spore stalk enabled the production of more spores, and enabled the development of the ability to release them higher and to broadcast them farther. Such developments may include more photosynthetic area for the spore-bearing structure, the ability to grow independent roots, woody structure for support, and more branching.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Vaatplant
Alemannisch: Gefäßpflanzen
asturianu: Tracheophyta
català: Traqueobiont
Cebuano: Tracheophyta
dansk: Karplanter
eesti: Soontaimed
Ελληνικά: Ανώτερα φυτά
español: Tracheophyta
Esperanto: Vaskula planto
فارسی: آوندداران
français: Tracheophyta
한국어: 관다발식물
Bahasa Indonesia: Tumbuhan berpembuluh
interlingua: Tracheophyta
italiano: Tracheobionta
Kreyòl ayisyen: Plant vaskilè
Lëtzebuergesch: Gefässplanzen
lietuvių: Induočiai
Bahasa Melayu: Tumbuhan pembuluh
Nederlands: Vaatplanten
日本語: 維管束植物
Nordfriisk: Huuger plaanten
norsk: Karplanter
norsk nynorsk: Karplantar
occitan: Tracheobionta
português: Planta vascular
română: Cormobionta
Simple English: Vascular plant
slovenčina: Cievnaté rastliny
српски / srpski: Васкуларне биљке
svenska: Kärlväxter
українська: Судинні рослини
Tiếng Việt: Thực vật có mạch
Winaray: Tracheophyta
中文: 维管植物