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An elongated, water-conducting cell in xylem, one of the two kinds of tracheary elements. Tracheids have pits where the cell wall is modified into a thin membrane, across which water flows from tracheid to tracheid. The cells die when mature, leaving only their lignified cell walls. Tracheids are found in all vascular plants. Compare vessel element.
in botany, primitive element of xylem (fluid-conducting tissues), consisting of a single elongated cell with pointed ends and a secondary, cellulosic wall thickened with lignin (a chemical binding substance) containing numerous pits but having no perforations in the primary cell wall. At functional maturity, the cell is dead and empty; its former protoplast is represented, if at all, by a warty layer on the wall. Tracheids serve for support and for upward conduction of water and dissolved minerals in all vascular plants and are the only such elements in conifers and ferns. See also vessel.