Have you noticed that some plants don’t really need repotting? Or, have you noticed that some plants just need more water than the others? If you don’t, then perhaps you should revisit Kingdom Plantae – which happens to be everywhere, by the way.
Every plant you encounter in your backyard or park is unique, and like us, they need to be understood to flourish. And a big part of why plants’ needs differ is because they might belong to different plant groups – vascular or nonvascular group.
So, if you’re interested in making your garden fruitful, you should learn the difference between vascular and nonvascular plants.
The clover plant is a member of the vascular group
To help you out in this dilemma, we’ve prepared a list of common differences between the two plant groups.
1. How They Get Watered
One area wherein there’s a difference between vascular and nonvascular plants is how they get watered. Vascular plants have tubes called xylem. It brings water and other nutrients up through the plant. Vascular plants also have Phloem. Phloem refers to the tubes that take sugar downward through the plant’s lower areas. The two structures work and function like that of human arteries and veins.
A man watering his plants using two watering cans
On the other hand, nonvascular plants get watered like a paper towel that takes up water from a countertop. They also have the ability to stay alive for long periods of time, even if water is unavailable. This unique ability is called desiccation.
2. Where They Grow
Since nonvascular plants’ habitat doesn’t have the ability to manipulate their water intake, they usually grow in damp and humid areas. So, if you’re handling a vascular plant in your garden, you may want to a keep them hydrated through watering tools such as watering can or garden sprinkler. On the other hand, vascular plants thrive in various habitats since they have the ability to control water they take in.
A few mosses growing on the brick wall
3. What They Look Like
The difference between vascular and nonvascular plants can easily be noticed in their physical structure. Vascular plants aren’t called higher plants for nothing. In fact, they have a special tissue for their food transportation that helps them bring the needed nutrients to the distant parts of their body. Meanwhile, nonvascular plants are mostly incredibly small which makes them less preferable for garden landscaping. Some examples of vascular plants are mosses, algae, liverworts.
Liverworts have no vascular system
4. The Leaves
Another good indicator of the difference between vascular and nonvascular plants is their leaves. Vascular plants have complicated leaf structures and contain various kinds of cell that help the system undergo photosynthesis. However, the nonvascular plants don’t have the usual leaves. Yes, their leaves have only one single layer of cell, and the nutrients in their so-called leaves are quickly sent from one cell to another.
Fern is an example of a vascular plant
5. The Presence Of The Stem
The difference between vascular and nonvascular plants can also be easily identified through their stems. The stems of the vascular plants are multi-layered. They contribute greatly to the transportation of food whereas the nonvascular plants have no stems at all.
The stem transports nutrients from one area to another
6. The Roots Underneath
From the leaves and stem, we now move on to what’s underneath the soil– the roots. Regarding the roots, nonvascular plants have unicellular roots while vascular plants have complicated root structures that are, more or less, similar to the structure and function of the vascular plants’ cell.
Roots can help you determine if a plant is vascular or nonvascular
7. The Flower-Bearing Ability
What makes the plants appealing and attractive? of course, it’s the flowers that they bear! If you need one visible indication of the difference between the vascular and nonvascular plants, then you should look for the flowers.
A beautiful flower with purple petals
Vascular plants have the ability to bear flowers since the flowers are crucial in their reproductive cycle. Flowers contain both male and female parts that are essential for pollination. Without pollination, no fruit or seed can ever be created. On the other hand, nonvascular plants do not undergo pollination for reproduction, and so they don’t have flowers.
8. What They Produce
Many vascular plants produce fruit after pollination. Fruits contain seeds that are vital for the survival of any vascular plants. Some vascular plants are seedless, and they release spores for reproduction instead. Nonvascular plants do not make fruit nor create seeds. They, like some vascular plants, produce spores for regeneration.
Tomato is an example of plants that bear fruits
And there you have it, the difference between vascular and nonvascular plants. Knowing the difference between vascular and nonvascular plants would be helpful to most gardeners as it will help you understand your plants better.
I hope this article will help you appreciate and understand gardening and Kingdom Plantae even more. Do you have any topic you want to share? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a message.
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Good to know for beginner gardeners and a refresher for seasoned gardeners too!
Thank you, Robert! I really made sure to make this post flexible and suitable for both novice and veteran garden enthusiasts.