Growth & Structure of Plants

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There are three main parts of a plant: the root system, the stems and leaves. All of these functions work together to produce a full mature plant. The roots help absorb and maintain water, minerals and food. They not only seek out food and water for a plant, but also store nutrients as well. The stem system of a plant is vital for the overall structure and balance of a plant. It also serves the purpose of transporting food and water to the leaves above, which help produce photosynthesis. There are two types of leaves: simple and compound. Simple leaves are basically a leaf with one blade. A compound leaf is one of many blades, also known as leaflets. The root system of a plant is a rather complex one. When a root system starts to grow, the cells are very fragile and can be damaged during growth. The result is a root cap that protects these fragile cells. In the middle of a root are two components that act as arteries throughout the plant; xylem and phloem. The Xylem transports water from the roots of the plant to the shoot system (branches, leaves, etc.). The Phloem transports food or minerals to any part of the plant that is need of nourishment. The xylem and phloem are not just present in roots, but in the stem system as well. There are two types of roots, Tap roots and Fibrous roots. A taproot system has one main or central root that has much smaller side branches. By concentrating their growth on into one axis, taproots are able to dig down deep into the soil, finding water where a more fibrous root system may not be able to. Some younger plants, such as trees, start their growth with one long taproot and develop a more fibrous system during its maturation process. Fibrous roots do not have a single large root; rather they have a system of roots of equal size in length and width. Fibrous roots are more spread out, gathering more water and minerals. They are also good for stability of young plants. Fibrous root systems, like...
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