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Parts of a plant
Most plants have leaves, stem and roots. Some plants have flowers and fruits also.
Roots hold the plant firmly in the ground. Roots also absorb water and nutrients from the soil, for the plant to grow. A third function of the roots is that it holds the soil in place from being displaced or washed away. In some plants, roots store food also.
There are different types of roots. The main two types of root systems are the fibrous root system and tap root system.
In a fibrous root system many roots grow in all directions. But in the tap root system there is one large primary root growing straight down. It may have smaller secondary roots growing to the sides.
The stem holds up the plant. In addition, it carries water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves. It also carries food from the leaves to the roots. Moreover, it stores food. Stems can be thick or thin. They can be green or brown.
There are mainly two types of stems.
- Woody stems: trees and shrubs have woody stems that provide support to them.
- Herbaceous or Non-woody stems: these are softer, green and flexible stems. Smaller and thinner plants have non-woody stems. They rely on the pressure of the watery sap present in their stems to hold themselves up.
Leaves come in different shapes, sizes, and colours.
Leaves use light from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, nutrients from the soil, and water to make food for the plant. This process is called photosynthesis.
There are different types of leaves. According to the leaf blades, leaves can be divided into simple leaves and compound leaves. A simple leaf has just one leaf blade whereas a compound leaf has more than one leaf blade. Leaves are one of the most important parts of plants, and can even be used to produce essential oils, which help with natural healing.
Flowers come in many different sizes, shapes and colours. The purpose of a flower is to aid in fertilization so that the plant creates seeds. Bright colors, strong scents and sweet nectar attract birds, bees and other insects to move pollen from one flower to another. Thus pollination happens and seeds develop. These seeds grow up as plants again. The following are some commonly found flowers.
Fruits are of many different shapes, sizes, colours and texture. Some fruits have only one seed; other fruits have many seeds. Mangoes, rambutans, peaches and plums are single-seeded fruits. papaya, kiwi fruits and oranges are multi-seeded fruits.
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