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Vascular plants: what are they, characteristics and examples

Wondering what a vascular plant is? The answer to this question, and much more information about it, can be found in this simple post where we explain everything you need to know about this type of plant, which is also known as tracheophytes or cormophytes . You will discover that you already knew more about them than you thought and you will be able to learn more about their main characteristics and their differences with non-vascular plants. Additionally, we have added some examples of common vascular plants to help you better understand the plant world around you. Continue reading AgroCorrn and discover what vascular plants are, their characteristics and examples .

  1. What are vascular plants
  2. Characteristics of vascular plants
  3. Examples of vascular plants
  4. Difference between vascular and non-vascular plants

What are vascular plants

The vascular plants , also known as tracheophytes or cormofitas , belong to the group Tracheophyta . These plants have as their main characteristic that they have tissues that conduct fluids through the plant and others that provide support to allow them to achieve great development individually. Vascular plants are also generally referred to as higher plants .

In general, we can say that vascular plants are all those that have certain parts in a differentiated way. These are the main parts of vascular plants :

  • Root.
  • Stem.
  • Sheets.
  • Flores.

Therefore, as you can see, the vast majority of plants you know fall into this classification. Here you can better consult the Parts of a plant and their functions .

Characteristics of vascular plants

These are the main characteristics of vascular plants :

  • All vascular plants have a root, usually underground, an aerial stem, and leaves.
  • The tissues through which the nutrients, mineral salts and water that vascular plants need for development circulate are distributed throughout their structure.
  • Due to these vascular tissues, these types of plants do not need a very specific environment to grow, that is, it can vary in certain ranges.
  • Vascular tissues are made up of xylem and phloem . The xylem will be responsible for conducting the water and mineral salts collected from the soil to carry them to the leaves, while the phloem is responsible for transporting the synthesized food to all parts of the plant.
  • In addition to the conductive or vascular tissues, vascular plants also have structures to hold and support both this network of conductive vessels and the rest of the plant. For this reason, they manage to reach a larger size than non-vascular plants. If you want to learn more about the Types of plant tissues , we recommend this other AgroCorrn article.
  • Vascular plants have a unique anatomy that does not exist in other less evolved organisms of the plant kingdom. This is the case of the cuticle, which is an outer layer with a protective function, and the stomata, essential organs for gas exchange.
  • Vascular plants are nearly 400 million years old . Numerous studies place its genesis in the Silurian and Devonian periods.

Stages of vascular plants

The stages of vascular plants are those that we know in most plants where it occurs:

  • Growth.
  • The reproduction.
  • The dispersion.
  • Germination.

Although it does not differ much from the process of non-vascular plants, it is necessary to emphasize the presence of true flowers, seeds and fruits that these plants do have.

Examples of vascular plants

Next, we want to show you some examples to make it much easier for you to know which are the vascular plants that surround you and, thus, expand your general knowledge of botany. We have made a simple classification that includes examples of vascular plants that are easy to recognize or commonly used in parks and gardens.

Pteridophytes or phylline

The plants belonging to the group of the filicinea were the first vascular plants . These do not produce flowers, so they reproduce with spores and need humid climates to grow and reproduce. To this group belong, mainly the ferns . Here are some examples:

  • Horse tail.
  • Feathery fern.
  • Tree ferns.
  • Holly fern.

Learn more about them with this other post about Pteridophyte Plants: what they are, types and examples .


Plants belonging to the Angiosperm group are vascular plants whose reproductive system is protected. These have true flowers and produce fruits and seeds. They are classified into monocots and dicots and here are some examples:

  • Monocotyledonous vascular plants: maple, bougainvillea, gladiolus and tulip.
  • Dicotyledonous vascular plants: carob, apple, orange, palo borracho and tobacco.

If you want to know more about these plants, here you can see an article about Angiosperm Plants: what they are, characteristics and examples .


Plants belonging to the group of gymnosperms produce true flowers that are not protected and whose seeds usually have a “wing”, called samara, with which they can be dispersed thanks to the action of the wind.

  • Cypress
  • Juniper
  • Pino
  • Secuoya
  • Tagus

In this link you can find all the information about Gymnosperm Plants: what they are, characteristics and examples .

Difference between vascular and non-vascular plants

These are the main differences between vascular and non-vascular plants :

  • The major difference between vascular and non-vascular plants resides in the presence of stem, leaves, flowers and fruits in the case of vascular plants.
  • Due to this, only vascular plants are the main source of food for the vast majority of living beings, while non-vascular plants have the main function of regulating environmental humidity.
  • Non-vascular plants, by not producing seeds, only reproduce only by spores under favorable conditions.
  • In addition, in the case of non-vascular plants, these are species that do not stand out for their size or coloration, as they are usually small and deep green in color.
  • The vascular ones, on the other hand, represent most of the species that we know as common plants, such as trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.

If you want to read more articles similar to Vascular plants: what they are, characteristics and examples , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .

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