Plant Structure

What are the main structures of all plant bodies and what role do these structures play in a plant’s life?

There are three main structures in all plant bodies:

  1. Roots are considered to be the underground biomass of a plant. Tap roots are thick and deep, whereas fibrous or adventitious roots are slim and hair-like. They anchor the plant in one location and absorb necessary nutrients from the soil. Some plants, however, also have the ability to store nutrients in their roots systems.
  2. The stem, or shoot, is the main part of the plant above ground. Very similar in structure to roots, the stem supports the plant and is the source of growth. It is from the shoot that primary, secondary and vegetative growth occurs, which is the development of leaves. This structure also has the ability to photosynthesize because chlorophyll is present in its cells.
  3. Leaves are structures that develop from axillary buds on the stem. They specialize in photosynthesis by maximizing sunlight exposure and minimizing transpiration. It is here that gas exchange occurs. Leaves are often wide and flat, but don’t have to be.

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