The plants, if we refer to the Kingdom plant, are a very extensive group of organisms characterized by being photosynthetic, having a cellulose cell wall and lacking voluntary locomotor capacity. inside the kingdom plant Embryophytes and various groups of algae, all of which are evolutionarily related, are included.

The colloquial use of the word “plant” coincides with the group of embryophytes. Although there are embryophytes that live in the aquatic environment, most are terrestrial, hence they are also known as land plants.

Although it is common to associate roots and terrestrial plants, the truth is that there is a group of plants that do not have roots or any other type of vascular tissue. They are known as non-vascular plants or lower plantsalthough its distribution and evolution is comparable to the plants superiorswhich do have roots and vascular tissues.

plants with roots

The root it’s a specialized organ only appears in a group of embryophytes, the tracheophytes (Tracheophyta), also known vascular or higher plants. These plants are characterized, in addition to having roots, by having two types of vascular tissue:

  1. xylem: transports water, minerals and other nutrients from the root to the leaves.
  2. pholemma: transports organic nutrients, mainly glucose, and some inorganic nutrients, from the photosynthetic and autotrophic part of the plant to the non-photosynthetic part, that is, from the leaves to the root.

Among the functions of the roots, the most prominent are:

  • Floor fixing and support
  • Water and mineral absorption
  • Accumulation of reserves
  • Contribution to soil formation

The vascular plant group includes clubmosses, ferns, and seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms).

rootless plants

The other large group of embryophytes are the non vascular plantsthat no roots or vascular tissues specialized. Among them we find mosses, liverworts and hornworts, all of them characteristic of humid environments, since absorb water directly from the environment.

Non-vascular plants form the group of bryophytes in a broad sense (Bryophyta sensu lato), mosses being bryophytes in the strict sense. All studies indicate that bryophytes are the closest living relatives of the green algae and what were they the first plants to evolve 500 million years ago.

In addition to not having vascular tissues, bryophytes are characterized by alternating diploid generations and generations of haploid gametophytes, a characteristic that in vascular plants only occurs in ferns and lycopods.