The vascular plants, or tracheophytes, 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. They are often called the higher plants.
mid Silurian – present
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.
- Spore-bearing vascular plants
- Scientific names are Tracheophyta and Tracheobionta, but neither is very widely used.
- Kenrick, Paul & Peter R. Crane 1997. The origin and early diversification of land plants: a cladistic study. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-730-8.
- Christenhusz, Maarten J M. et al (2011). "A new classification and linear sequence of extant gymnosperms". Phytotaxa 19: 55–70. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.19.1.3. http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/content/2011/f/pt00019p070.pdf.
- Smith, Alan R. et al (2006). "A classification for extant ferns". Taxon 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646. http://www.pryerlab.net/publication/fichier749.pdf.
- Christenhusz, Maarten J.M. et al (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns". Phytotaxa 19: 7–54. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.19.1.2. http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/content/2011/f/pt00019p054.pdf.
- In non-vascular plants, the principal generation phase is often the gametophyte, which is haploid with one set of chromosomes per cell.