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Word(s) of the Week: Phloem and Xylem

Today’s words are:

[phloem] and [xylem]

Pronounced: FLOW-um, ZYE-lum

Sciency Definition: Phloem and xylem are two layers of tissues found within the stems of plants and trunks of trees.

Or I could have said: Plant guts.

What’s it do?  Phloem is made of tissues that transport sugars created during photosynthesis, feeding the plant from the top (where the leaves are) down to the roots. The xylem is made of tissues that transport water and minerals up from the root system. In trees, the xylem dies after one year, creating the rings you see in a tree’s cross-section.

Example sentenceA tree ain’t cryin’ without its XYLEM! Ha! Uh, sorry, I must have had some phloem stuck in my throat.

Can you use either of these words this week? Report back in the comments!

Cross-section of a flax stem by SuperManu, via Wiki. The xylem is #3, and the phloem is #4.

Can you say, “Mycotrophic Wildflowers”?

Do you love new vocabulary as much as I do? When I learn a new word I want to work it into my everyday vernacular. Mostly so I can try to sound smart. But this post isn’t about my inferiority complex, it’s about wildflowers! Well, kind of.

What has no chlorophyll, parasitizes the hyphae (filaments) of a mycorrhizal fungus, and looks like alien asparagus?

Why, it’s mycotrophic wildflowers!

Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea). Or as I like to call them, Freaky Alien Asparagus.

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