The xylem transports water and minerals from the roots up the plant stem and into the leaves.
In a mature flowering plant or tree, most of the cells that make up the xylem are specialised cells called vessels.
Transport in the xylem is a physical process. It does not require energy.
The phloem moves food substances that the plant has produced by photosynthesis to where they are needed for processes such as:
Transport in the phloem is therefore both up and down the stem. Transport of substances in the phloem is called translocation.
Phloem consists of living cells. The cells that make up the phloem are adapted to their function:
|Type of transport||Physical process||Requires energy|
|Substances transported||Water and minerals||Products of photosynthesis including sugars and amino acids dissolved in water|
|Direction of transport||Upwards||Upwards and downwards|