Plants are everywhere you go, and there are so many of them! At any time, a person can look out of a window or go outside and see some kind of plant. There are many different kinds of plants in the world. Some plants are tall, while others are very small. Some may have a lot of flowers, while other plants may not have any that you can see. Trees are plants, even though they look different from some other plant types. If you look at the anatomy, or structure, of plants, you’ll find that there are basic similarities between them. To start, there are four basic plant parts. These parts are the root, the stem, the leaves, and the flowers. They are often referred to as the plant’s organs.
A plant’s roots are the long parts that are usually found underground. There are two potential types of roots: tap roots and fibrous roots. A tap root is one main root, although there are also often small roots that branch from this main root. The main root is able to go deep into the ground. A carrot is an example of a tap root that you can eat! Fibrous roots are roots that branch out and cover a larger area underground. Roots are important because they keep the plant in the ground and they also help the plant to get water and nutrients from the soil. Roots are able to do this because of very small hairs they have.
The stem of the plant is the long part that extends from the ground. Like the rest of the plant, this organ has a purpose as well. Its purpose is to carry the nutrients and water up from the roots to the leaves. It also carries food that the leaves manufacture back down to the root. Another important purpose of the stem is to hold up the leaves and the flowers. On trees the stem is woody, extremely strong, and lives for a very long time.
The leaves of the plant are the third organ. They look great with the flowers on plants, but they also have a job to do. That job is to make food for the plant! That sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! The leaves of plants create food through a process known as photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is what happens when light from the sun hits the leaves. Leaves are green because of a pigment called chlorophyll. This traps the energy that comes from the light of the sun. Then, the leaves act like a factory and use this energy to create glucose, which is a type of sugar. Glucose is the food that feeds the rest of the plant. The different parts of the leaf are very important to the process of photosynthesis. The blade of the leaf is the large, flat part; it is where the sun hits and where the plant collects light. Down the center of the leaf is a lighter-colored vein. This is called the midrib and its job is to support the blade so that it can face toward the sun.
Flowers are beautiful, but they are very important to plants as well. They are the reproductive part of the plant and contain the sexual organs. It is the flowers that allow plants to reproduce. In other words, without flowers no more plants could be made! The sexual parts of the plant are also called the reproductive parts. The male parts are called the anther and filament. The anther is where pollen is produced. The female parts of the flower are the ovary and the stigma. The colored parts of the flower that make it so pretty are called the petals. The petals attract insects like butterflies and bees so that pollination can happen. The stigma holds pollen grains and is supported by the style.
For more information about the anatomy of plants, please click the following links.
- Plant Anatomy (PDF)
- Plants and Their Structure
- Plant Structure and Function
- Basic Plant Anatomy
- Plant Parts
- In Search of Green Life – Plant Parts
- Parts of Plants
- Learn about Plant Anatomy
- What Makes a Plant a Plant (PDF)
- Plant Roots
- A General Plant Structure
- The Parts of a Leaf
- Flower Parts
- What do Plant Parts Do? (PDF)
- Plants – Stems
- What Different Parts of Plants Do
- Plant Life Cycle Game
- Plants – Plant Anatomy
- The Parts of a Flower
- Flower Anatomy Worksheet (PDF)