The vascular plants, tracheophytes or higher plants 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.
The vascular plants are set apart in two main ways:
- 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.
- In vascular plants, the principal generation phase is the sporophyte, which is diploid with two sets of chromosomes per cell.
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.