Difference Between Xylem and Phloem

Xylem vs Phloem

Xylem and Phloem are two kinds of plant’s vascular tissues. They both have functions that are mainly transportation motivated by different nutrients that plants need in order to sustain themselves. They differ in what nutrients they transport around the plant’s system as well as other factors so let us find out what they are.


Xylem is usually defined as a tubular structure that is wholly delegated to transport water to different parts of the plant and this water supply comes all the way from the roots. Water and minerals are transported by the xylem. In time of maturity, they exist as tissues that are non living. In deep analysis, xylem is comprised of the following: vessels, tracheids and xylem fibers and parenchyma.


Phloem is usually defined as also a tubular structure that transports foods and nutrients to the different parts of the plant. These are needed for the plant to survive. Food and water are the ones mainly transported by phloem. They are living cells, are soft-walled and are the driving force of organic nutrients to the plant itself. They function as the main transportation for food.

Difference between Xylem and Phloem

Xylem conducts water transport from the roots to the different parts of the plant; Phloem transports foods and nutrients in order for the plant to survive. Xylems are considered to be vascular tissues that are already non living in maturity; Phloem is a vascular tissue that is alive in nature. Xylems are complex and are known to be permanent tissues; Phloem is living and is also known to be complex and permanent. Xylems are vascular tissues that are hard-walled; Phloem is a vascular tissue that is soft-walled in nature. Xylem transports mineral nutrients; Phloem transports organic ones.

So both are vascular tissues but when it comes to their functions, the nutrients that they transport and appearance, they differ in a lot of ways that a non-discerning mind would not be able to know.

In brief:

• Xylems are vascular tissues that are hard-walled; Phloem is a vascular tissue that is soft-walled.

• Xylem transports water; phloem transports food and nutrients.