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Getting to Know Plants

The Root (Group A)

Plants have diverse morphology; still they have the following structures in common:

  • Roots
  • Stem
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Fruits

What is a root?

It is the underground part of a plant. It performs the function of absorbing water from soil. It also helps in the anchorage of plants to the soil.

Primary root is the direct elongation of radicle, which grows inside the soil. It is the primary root that bears several lateral roots termed as secondary roots, tertiary roots, etc.

Functions of Root

The two functions of roots can be demonstrated with the help of the following activities.

(i) Absorption

Take two pots and label them as A and B. Uproot two weeds from your garden. Cut off the roots from one weed. Then, put the weed containing roots in pot A, and that without roots in pot B. Water the plants regularly for some days.

What do you observe?

You will observe that after 4-5 days, the weed without roots begins to die, while the other weed remains healthy.

Therefore, it can be concluded that roots absorb water from soil. Thus, they are important for the survival of plants.

(ii) Anchorage

Take a bowl and put some wet cotton wool in it. Then put 4-5 gram seeds in that bowl. Sprinkle water everyday to keep the cotton wet.

You will observe that after one week the sprouts develop into young plants.

Now, try to separate these young plants from the cotton wool. What do you observe?

You will find it difficult to separate these young plants from the cotton wool. This happens because the roots of these young plants remain attached to the cotton wool.

Therefore, on the basis of the above activity, it can be concluded that roots help in holding plants tightly to the soil, thereby performing the function of anchorage.

Do all plants have the same type of roots or do the roots differ in their structure?

There are mainly two types of roots in plants. They are:

(i)Tap root: Tap root consist of a main root, which grows vertically downwards. This main root gives rise to many small branches. They can be observed in the young plantlets of gram.


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