Getting to Know Plants

We see different types of plants in our garden, few are small, tiny, short, big trees with colourful flowers and fruits. There are different types of plants which are classifieds into their own categories. Let us learn in detail about the plants, their parts, different types of plants.

Table of Contents

What are Plants?

Plants are the multicellular, photosynthetic, eukaryotes, which are grouped into a separate kingdom of Plantae. Alike animal’s plants do have a well-defined cell and its specialized organs, which are mainly associated with their cellular functions. Plants are the only living species that can manufacture their own food and this is mainly because of the presence of specialized structures in the plant cell.

Parts of Plants

A plant is divided into two main parts: Root system and the Shoot system.

Root system

A root system is the underground part of the plant’s body, which constitutes the major part of the plant – Roots, which is mainly grown downwards into the soil. These roots usually have a root cap at its tip and root hairs. The main functions of roots are:

    • Store food in some plants.
  • Helps in vegetative reproduction.
  • It helps in the anchoring of the plant’s body deep into the soil.
  • Absorbs and transports water, minerals and other nutrients from the soil.

Shoot System

The shoot system is the aerial part of the plant, which usually develops above the ground level. It includes stem, leaves, buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds.

Also, read Shoot System – Parts Of Plants

Stems

Stems are the long, supportive axis of plants. Stems might be tender, strong or woody as in trees or thin and green like herbs. It is the central axis of the plants. Functions of stem include:

  • Provide support to the entire plant.
  • Stores food in the form of starch.
  • Holds and connect to leaves, buds, flowers, fruits and helps them to stand erect.
  • Helps in the transportation of water, minerals and other nutrients in both the directions.

Leaves

Leaves are the most crucial part of the shoot system. They are also called as the food factory of the plants. Functions of leaves include:

  • Helps in the Floral Induction.
  • Involved in the exchange of gases.
  • Serve as a food storage organ of the plant.
  • Synthesizes food through the process called photosynthesis.
  • Plays an important role in the removal of excess water through its tiny pores called stomata.

Flowers

Flowers are the most colourful part of a plant. It is also called as the reproductive part of a plant as it carries the reproductive organs. The main functions of the flower are:

  • Pollination.
  • Reproduction.
  • Formation of fruits.

Fruits

Fruits are also a part of the shoot system which holds seeds within them. Fruits are developed from the ovaries in the flowers of the plants. The main functions of fruits are:

  • Involved in the production of seeds.
  • Helps in the Dispersal of the matured seeds.
  • Protects the seed by acting as a barrier between the seed and the external environment.

Classification of plants

Plants are classified into several types and their classifications are based on:

Based on the Reproduction

Flowers are the reproductive system of the plant. The flower of a plant contains the reproductive organs which are required for a plant to reproduce and complete its life cycle. Based on the production of flowers, fruits, and seeds, plants are classified into:

  • Flowering plants – Plants which produce flowers and bear seeds in its fruits. These flowering plants are also called as the angiosperms.

Example: Apple, Banana, Mango, Peach, and Pear are few examples of flowering plants.

  • Nonflowering plants – Plants which do not produce flowers, but produce naked seeds. These non-flowering plants are also called as the gymnosperms.

Example: Cypress, and pine, are a few examples of non-flowering plants.

Based on their life cycle

There are different varieties of plants which complete their life cycle within a short period of time and some take years together. Based on these criteria, plants are classified into:

  • Annuals – These plants complete their life cycle in a single season.

Example: Corn, rice, wheat, and pulses are a few examples of annual plants.

  • Biennials – These plants require two years to complete their life cycle.

Example: Carrot, cabbage, onions, and beetroot are a few examples of biennial plants.

  • Perennials – These are plants are long-lived and require more than two years to complete their life cycle.

Example: Rose, lavender, dianthus, and lilies are a few examples of perennial plants.

Based on their growth habitats

Till now, we have seen the classification of plants based on their reproduction and their life cycle. Other than these, plants are also classified based on their height and other growing habitats.

  • Herbs: They are short plants, with green and the delicate stem. Usually, these plants have very few branches and can be easily uprooted from the soil.

Example: Grass, Mint, and wheat are a few examples of herbs.

  • Shrubs: They are a medium-sized plant with thick, hard stems and many branches with flowers and fruits.

Example: Henna, lemon, and rose are a few examples of shrubs.

  • Trees: They are big and tall plants with very thick and hard stems called the trunk. A single trunk gives rise to many branches that bear leaves, flower fruits and seeds.

Example: Banyan, mango, cashew, are some examples of trees.

  • Climbers: They have a very delicate stem but they can climb upon with some support and carry their weight. These types of plants use special structures called tendrils to climb on.

Example: Pea plant and money plant, are examples of Climbers.

  • Creepers: These plants usually creep on the grounds and have very weak or brittle stems that can neither climb, nor stand erect.

Example: Watermelon and pumpkin are examples of Creepers.

Also, read The Classification Of Plants

Life Cycle of a Plant

The life cycle of a plant generally begins with the scattered seeds which are ready for the germination. Here is a simple flowchart about the life cycle of a plant.

The germinating seed absorbs water from their surroundings.

                        ↓

The swollen seed pushes the root out from its seed coat.

                                         ↓

The seedling of the new plant grows out into the soil.

                                         ↓

The new, tiny, green and tender stem arises and grows towards the sun along with the leaves.

                                         ↓

As the stem grows, it becomes strong and more leaves and branches are produced.

                                         ↓

The buds are produced in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of a stem, which develops into a flower with colourful petals.

                                         ↓

These flowers produce fruits followed with the seeds.

Plants play a major role in our life. Without plants, there would be no more life existing on planet earth. Plants help us by providing food to eat, air to breathe, fabrics to cover our body, shelter, medicines, timbers and many products for human use. There are around three lakh identified plant species and this list is still increasing.

Also, read  Uses Of Plants

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more initial about the plants, their life cycle and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology

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