Difference between Xylem and phloem

The difference between Xylem and Phloem is given here. Xylem and phloem are two terms in biology that identify different parts of a plant. To understand what differentiates them, we must know the concepts. Keep reading.

Differences between Xylem and Phloem
Differences between Xylem and Phloem


The term xylem comes from the classical Greek xylón which means wood or firewood. It is recognized as a lignified conductive plant tissue that transports fluids from one area to another in vascular plants. Its purpose is to trans port water, mineral salts, and other nutrients from the roots to the leaves of the plants.

The transported substance is called raw sap. Together with the phloem, it forms a continuous network that extends throughout the planet. It is composed of several types of tubular cells characterized by the presence of a secondary cell wall. The conductive elements of the xylem are the tracheids, their tips resemble a hypodermic needle and are perforated. They are unicellular with a lignified secondary wall. Its primary function is conduction and the secondary one is that of support.


Phloem comes from the Greek floiós which means bark. It is responsible for the transport of organic and inorganic nutrients produced during photosynthesis to non-photosynthetic underground parts in vascular plants. They are also known as Liberian tubes or glasses. Two types of phloem are recognized, primary and secondary. The primary phloem or stem is associated with the primary xylem and together with it builds the vascular bundles. The secondary phloem originates from the cambium that is located on the periphery of the stem or root. suggested video: Xylem and Phloem

Difference between Xylem and Phloem

Xylem is a lignified conductive tissue that transports liquids from one area of ​​the plant to another. It carries nutrients and mineral salts from the roots to the leaves of the plant.

The phloem is responsible for the transport of organic and inorganic nutrients produced during photosynthesis to the non-photosynthetic parts of the plant.




Xylem tissues are the tubular-shaped structure, with the absence of cross walls. This tissue resembles the shape of a star. Phloem tissues are tubular-shaped, elongated, structures with the presence of walls with thin sieve tubes.


It is located in the centre of the vascular bundle. It is located on the outer side of the vascular bundle.


Xylem fibres are smaller. Phloem fibres are larger.

Found In

They are present in roots, stems and leaves. They are present in stems and leaves, which later transports and grow in roots, fruits and seeds.


These tissues move in a Unidirectional. (only in one direction – upward direction) These tissues move in a Bidirectional. (both ways – up and down)


They live with hollow dead cells. They live with cytoplasm without the nucleus.

No of Tissues

The total amount of xylem tissue is more. The total amount of phloem tissue is less.


It consists of tracheids, vessel elements, xylem parenchyma, xylem sclerenchyma and xylem fibres. It consists of four elements: companion cells, sieve tubes, bast fibres, phloem fibres, intermediary cells and the phloem parenchyma.


Transports soluble mineral nutrients and water molecules from the roots to the aerial parts of the plant. Transports food and other nutrients including sugar and amino acids from leaves to storage organs and growing parts of the plant.

Vascular Bundles

Forms vascular bundles with phloem. Forms vascular bundles with xylem.


Provides mechanical strength to the plant and helps in strengthening the stem. Translocates the synthesized sugars by the photosynthetic areas of plants to storage organs like roots, bulbs and tubers.


It is responsible for replacing the total amount of lost water molecules through transpiration and photosynthesis. It is responsible for transporting proteins and mRNAs throughout the plant.


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