Vascular Plants are those plants in which vascular tissue in the form of xylem and phloem is present. They form the top of the evolutionary tree of the plant kingdom. They are predominant land plants, some of which are as tall as 100 metres and as old as 6000 years. There are more than 275,000 species of living vascular plants, the majority of them being the flowering plants. Most fungi and land animals depend directly or indirectly for sustaining their life. The vascular plants are also the major source of economically useful vegetable products for man.
The vascular plants have been classified into three groups-
Ferns- the vascular plants without seeds.
Gymnosperms– the vascular plants with seeds, but without fruit.
Angiosperms– the flowering plants with seeds enclosed in fruits.
General Characteristics of Vascular Plants:
Their characteristic organs are roots, stem and leaves.
These organs have well-developed xylem and phloem tissues.
There is a distinct division of labour, between the different organs for photo-autotrophic life on land.
The roots anchor the plant and absorb water and minerals from the soil.