Vascular bundles are similar to the human circulatory system. They are the visible veins seen on the back of leaves, but vascular bundles also make up the majority of a plant’s structure.
Parts of the vascular bundle
Vascular bundles are made up of the xylem and the phloem. The xylem carries water and dissolved minerals up from the soil, through the roots, to stems and leaves. The phloem carries dissolved food, especially sugars, down, from the leaves, to storage tissues in the stems and roots. There are various arrangements of vascular bundles, depending upon the typer of plant.
Diseases of the vascular system
The flow of water and nutrients is critical to a plant’s health. Many pests and diseases take advantage of this fact. Damage to the vascular bundle can cause wilting, chlorosis, or even death. Common pests and diseases of vascular bundles include:
Fun with the vascular system
You're never too old to enjoy this one and your kids are sure to enjoy it - put some celery stalks in a cup of water with food coloring and watch the dye move through the stalk's vascular system. Try it with other plants and show us pictures!
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!