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The Main Parts of a Plant With Their Functions

A plant is a living organism that produces food for themselves, and act as a primary food source for all life forms on earth. Plants are also the only source of oxygen for the maintenance of ecological balance in nature. Listed below are the major parts of a plant, their structures, and functions.

What are the Different Parts of a Plant

Broadly, plants have two organ systems: i) the root system and ii) the shoot system.

A typical diagram of a plant body mainly consists of three parts: i) roots, ii) stems, and iii) leaves, each having a specialized function. Apart from the three fundamental parts, three other vital parts of a flowering plant are i) flowers and ii) fruits.

The root system covers the underground parts of a plant, which includes the roots, tubers, and rhizomes, whereas the shoot system covers the parts found above the ground, which consists of the leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits.

1. Roots

Part of a plant that lies below the surface of the soil. The apical part of a root (root apex) is covered by a covering known as root cap.

Functions

  • Absorbing water and minerals from the soil
  • Storing food for future use
  • Producing plant growth hormones
  • Anchoring the plant firmly to the soil and providing support
  • Developing new plants from the roots of the old plant (vegetative reproduction)

2. Stems

Found above the ground and are structurally divided into nodes and internodes. The regions where leaves are found are known as nodes, whereas the areas in-between the nodes are known as internodes.

Functions

  • Providing strength and support to buds, flowers, leaves, and fruits
  • Storing food mainly in the form of starch
  • Transporting(taking-in and distribution) food, water, and minerals to all parts of the plant body
  • Developing new plants from the stem of the old plant (vegetative reproduction)

3. Leaves

Commonly, the site of food preparation for the plants. They consist of three basic parts: i) the petiole, ii) leaf base, and iii) lamina or leaf blade.

The petiole holds the leaf base firmly to the light and wind, thereby enabling the leaves to cool. The leaf lamina gives rigidity to the leaf blade that helps in the transport of nutrients and minerals within the leave.

Functions

  • Making food for the plant with the help of sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water (photosynthesis)
  • Helping in reproduction in specific groups of plants (e.g., Bryophyllum, a sprout leaf plant)
  • Helping in evaporation and water movement through the aerial parts of the plant (transpiration)

Apart from these main functions leaves of some plants are modified to perform specific functions, like some are modified to form tendrils to help in climbing (as in peas), few are converted to spines or thrones to help in protection (as in cactus), while some are modified to fleshy leaves to store food (as in onion).

4. Flowers

The most colorful and attractive part found in a plant, a flower contains four main parts:

Sepals-green parts of a flower found below the petals that protect flower buds from injury.

Petals –colorful parts of a flower found above the sepals that help in pollination.

Stamens –consists of an anther and a filament. They are the male parts of a plant producing male sex cells or spermatia.

Carpel-consists of stigma, style, and ovary. They are the female parts of a plant producing female sex cells or ovules.

Functions

  • Helping in the sexual reproduction of plants
  • Stimulating pollination in plants and fertilization of the ovule

5. Fruits

Ripened ovary found in flower after fertilization. The ovules after fertilization make the seed, which is then fertilized so new plants can grow.

Functions

  • Serving as the most edible part of a plant body
  • Protecting the growing seeds
  • Helping in the dispersal of seeds
  • Giving rise to new plants from seeds, under favorable conditions

Thus different part of a plant has specific functions towards its reproduction, growth, and development. They all work in combination with each other and provide distinct advantages to a plant.

FAQs

Q.1. Which part of the plant attracts pollinators?

Ans. Petals of a flower attract pollinators in a plant.

Q.2. What are the reproductive parts of a flowering plant?

Ans. Stamen and carpel are the two reproductive parts of the plant.

Q.3. Which part of the plant prepares food for it to survive (photosynthesis)?

Ans. The leaves of a plant are responsible for making its food.

Q.4. Which part of a plant produces pollen grains?

Ans. Stamen is the pollen-producing part of a flowering plant.

Q.5. What part of the plant supports the leaves and flowers?

Ans. The stem keeps the leaves and flowers attached to the plant, supporting and sending them nourishment to grow and function properly.

Q.6. What are the edible parts of a plant?

Ans. Humans mostly eat fruit (banana, tomato, etc.), seed (wheat, maize, etc.), leaves (spinach, cabbage, etc.), roots (carrots, beets, etc.), flowers (broccoli), and stems (ginger) of plants.

Q.7. Which part of the plant is potato?

Ans. Potato tubers are the stem of a potato plant.

Q.8. What part of the plant is broccoli?

Ans. Broccoli is the under-developed flower and the stalk of the broccoli plant.

Article was last reviewed on Friday, December 6, 2019

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