• synonyms


  1. the part of a vascular bundle consisting of sieve tubes, companion cells, parenchyma, and fibers and forming the food-conducting tissue of a plant.
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Origin of phloem

< German (1858), irregular < Greek phló(os) bark (variant of phloiós) + -ēma deverbal noun ending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phloem

Historical Examples of phloem

British Dictionary definitions for phloem


  1. tissue in higher plants that conducts synthesized food substances to all parts of the plant
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Word Origin for phloem

C19: via German from Greek phloos bark
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for phloem


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phloem in Science


  1. A tissue in vascular plants that conducts food from the leaves and other photosynthetic tissues to other plant parts. Phloem consists of several different kinds of cells: sieve elements, parenchyma cells, sclereids, and fibers. In mature woody plants it forms a sheathlike layer of tissue in the stem, just inside the bark. See more at cambium photosynthesis. Compare xylem.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

phloem in Culture



The system of vessels in a plant that carries food from the leaves to the rest of the plant. (See xylem.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.