Agronomy

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Plants:Their Uses For Human Life

Humans have always used plant in one capacity or another. Plants are becoming known more and more for their vital usage in many arenas, including medicinal purposes.

All that is required for growth of plant life is

A ir S unlight S oil

In Greenland, the Arctic poppy can be found, rising up out of massive layers of ice. Mountainsides are filled with large, colorful blooms, even when packed in heavy snow. On the other end of the temperate zone, many types of cacti are found in barren deserts that may go for many years with rainfall.

USES FOR PLANTS

FOOD
The chief food plants in many countries are cereal grains. The major types of grain crops include wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, and rye. Next are legumes, such as peas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts. For centuries, people have used the herbs and spices derived from plants as seasonings for their food. Pepper and nutmeg are two examples of seasonings derived from dried fruit, while others such as sage and rosemary come from leaves. A common baking spice, cinnamon, is found in the stem of the plant.

Wheat Nutmeg

Rosemary

Sage

LUMBER
There are various species of trees used for lumber. These include softwood and hardwood trees.

Softwood trees are generally used to construct structural lumber such as plywood, etc.

Softwood species include: Loblolly, slash, shortleaf, and longleaf pine

Hardwood trees are generally used to construct lumber, furniture, picture frames, etc.

Poplar

Hardwood species include: Red oak, white oak, ash, poplar, and pecan

FIBER
Fiber crops are field crops grown for their fibers, which are traditionally used to make paper, cloth, or rope. The fibers may be chemically modified, like in viscose or cellophane.

Botanically, the fibers harvested from many of these plants are bast fibers; the fibers come from the phloem tissue of the plant. The other fiber crop fibers are seed padding, leaf fiber, or other parts of the plant.

Flax

Flax is one of the oldest textile fibres. Evidence of its use has been found in the prehistoric lake dwellings of Switzerland. Fine linen fabrics, indicating a high degree of skill, have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Most bast fibres are quite strong and are widely used in the manufacture of ropes and twines, bagging materials, and heavy-duty industrial fabrics. In the late 20th century, jute, used mainly for sacking and wrapping purposes, led other fibres in world production but suffered from intense competition from synthetic fibres. Commercially useful bast fibres include flax, hemp, jute, kenaf, ramie, roselle, sunn, and urena.

BEVERAGE
There has always been a search for beverages that are palatable and refreshing. Thousands of plant species have been utilized throughout history, but very few of these have ever become of commercial importance. They are divided into nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages.

Nonalcoholic Beverages With Caffeine Beverages with caffeine content are used worldwide for their stimulating and refreshing qualities. Typically each ancient center of civilization had its own beverage plants. Coffee that originated in regions adjacent to Southwestern Asia is now used by over half the world’s population. Tea that is associated with Southeastern Asia is used by over half the world population. Cocoa is a product of tropical America and which today serves as booth food and drink for many worldwide. There are other less known beverages that are equally important. These include maté, a principal drink in South America; cola, a favorite beverage and masticatory in Africa; haat, used in Arab countries; guarana, another South American drink that has higher caffeine content than any other beverages.

Cola Nut

Cocoa

Tea

Misc. Nonalcoholic Beverages There are a large number of soft drink beverages in use worldwide that all have a high sugar content and are good sources of energy. Fruit...
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