What type of plants does each class represent- Vascular, Non-Vascular, Aquatic, Desert, Coniferous, Deciduous, Annual and Perennial.

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Vascular plants are plants that have vascular tissue. Vascular tissue is basically a complex tissue (simple tissues are made of one type of cells and complex tissues are made up of more than one type of cells). The main components are xylem and phloem. Xylem is principally meant for conduction of water, minerals, salts, etc. from roots to leaves and Phloem for transportation of food material from the site of photosynthesis i.e. leaves to different parts of the plant. Presence of vascular tissue is a generally a feature attributed to higher plants. Angiosperms are good examples of vascular plants. Because of the presence of tracheary elements (tracheids and vessels), vascular plants are also known as tracheophytes. On the other hand, plants that do not have complex vascular tissues, i.e. xylem and phloem are known as non-vascular plants. In such plants, simple tissues carry out these functions. Bryophytes and algae are non-vascular plants. Conduction and transportation of materials in such plants takes place through simple tissues.

The plants that grow in water are called as aquatic plants. Some aquatic plants are well adapted to grow in water bodies like ponds, lakes, rivers, oceans, etc. and some in places with muddy water, waterlogged soils, wet surfaces, flooded areas etc. Aquatic plants can be further classified as freshwater or salt-water types. Some aquatic plants need stagnant water while others can thrive successfully in flowing water. Aquatic plants have plenty of mechanisms to absorb nutrition from water. Leaves could be floating or submerged. Common aquatic adaptions include cells with lots of air spaces or vacuoles, aerenchyma, flexible stems, specialized stomata, etc.

Plants that can thrive in arid and semi-arid areas are called as desert plants. Such plants have specialized mechanisms to prevent water loss. Usually stems carry out photosynthesis and leaves are reduced to thorns. Roots of such plants generally go very deep inside the soil, as water is scanty at the surface.

Plants that bear “cones” are known as coniferous plants. They are generally found in cool, hilly areas. Some characteristic features are presence of needle like leaves and soft wood. Pine tree, fir and cedar are conifers.

Deciduous plants shed their leaves at the end of every growing season. Annual plants, as the name says, live for one year and after that they die. They complete their growth and maturation cycle during this one-year only. Unlike annual plants, however, perennials live for several years.