Vascular Tissue in Plants
The vascular tissue is a complex structure in plants that acts as a conducting tissue and is normally formed of several cell types that are established on vascular plants.
Xylem and phloem are the two major components of the vascular tissue, and allows fluids to be internally transported. Vascular tissues is also associated with two meristems: the vascular cambium and the cork cambium.
Due to the fact that the function of both xylem and phloem is with regards to the conduction of water, nutrients and minerals throughout the plant, their form can be imagined as being somewhat similar to that of pipes.
A Plant’s vascular tissues are arranged in vascular bundles, which are long and discrete strands. Such bundles contain the xylem and phloem, as well as the protective and supporting cells.
In roots and stems, the xylem normally lies closer to the stem’s interior with the phloem extending towards the stem’s exterior. In some instances such as in the Asteriidae dicots, phloem is found inwardly along with the xylem.
Phloem cells are interconnected with each other and as the plant grows, there is formation of new vascular tissues in the growing tips of the plant. The newly formed tissues are aligned with the current vascular tissue, keeping its intercellular connection within the plant.
The vascular cambium, a meristem, is located between the xylem and phloem, wherein the cells are divided by this tissue that will soon become additional xylem and phloem. Such growth enables the increase of girth rather than that of plant length. The plant will continuously grow stouter as long as the vascular cambium continues to produce new cells. The cork cambium allows the growth of thickened cork cells for the protection of the plant surface as well as to reduce water loss.