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Xylem, Phloem, Roots and Stems

Plants have tubes that run through their stems and roots. These tubes carry water, minerals, and sugars. There are two types of tubes: xylem and phloem. The xylem and phloem connect the top and bottom of the plant. Each has its own job.


Xylem are strong, thick tubes. They carry water and minerals from the plant's roots to its leaves. Water and minerals must reach the leaves. There they will be available for use in photosynthesis.

Food from the Sun Each area of xylem and phloem in a stem (left) and a root (right) is made of bundles of tubes.


Phloem are thinner tubes than xylem. They carry the glucose made in photosynthesis. They move the glucose from the leaves to wherever it is needed in the plant's body. The glucose can be used to produce energy in respiration. It also can be stored as starch.

Roots and Stems

The xylem and phloem are arranged differently in roots and stems. Together, they make up the vascular tissue.

Food from the Sun Even in a huge tree like this one, the xylem must carry water all the way from the roots to the leaves at the top.

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