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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Phloem \Phlo"["e]m\, n. [Gr. ? bark.] (Bot.) That portion of fibrovascular bundles which corresponds to the inner bark; the liber tissue; -- distinguished from xylem.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1870, from German phloëm (1858), coined by German botanist Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli (1817-1891) from Greek phloos, phloios "bark of trees," of uncertain origin, + passive suffix -ema.


n. (context botany English) A vascular tissue in land plants primarily responsible for the distribution of sugars and nutrients manufactured in the shoot.


n. (botany) tissue that conducts synthesized food substances (e.g., from leaves) to parts where needed; consists primarily of sieve tubes [syn: bast]


In vascular plants, phloem is the living tissue that carries organic nutrients (known as photosynthate), in particular, sucrose, a sugar, to all parts of the plant where needed. In trees, the phloem is the innermost layer of the bark, hence the name, derived from the Greek word (phloios) meaning "bark". The phloem is concerned mainly with the transport of soluble organic material made during photosynthesis. This process of transportation is called translocation.

Usage examples of "phloem".

And lifting water is just one of the many jobs that the phloem, xylem, and cambium perform.

There the inner bark, the phloem, was scraped off and pestled into pulp that would be added to flour for baking.