Plants are a specific type of living organism which are abundant on planet earth. While some plants are seen as only an attractive type of vegetation, others are an essential source of food and shelter for a variety of creatures.
Today, some experts suggest that there are as many as 315,000 different types of plants in existence. While these plants may vary quite dramatically in appearance, it is likely that they all are composed of a number of the same parts.
Many scientists agree that the roots are one of the most important components of any plant. The roots, or “root system,” by which they are commonly referred, do not only anchor the plant into the ground, but also are essential for obtaining the water and vitamins important for growth and development.
Research has found that the root system is also effective at storing important nutrients when they naturally are in short supply, thus helping to extend the life of the plant. Without this component, plant growth would be severely limited.
Like roots, the stems of plants are quite vital to overall health. One of the most important roles of the stem is to provide overall plant support. In addition, plants stems have been found to essential at transporting water from the root system to the leaves, flowers, and fruit. Depending on the particular plant in question, stems can vary quite dramatically. These plant components can range from the thin, bendable stem of a flower to the sturdy, rigid stem of a tree.
Without its leaves, a plant would not be able to obtain enough food for survival. The process by which leaves absorb sunlight and convert it to energy is called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis requires high amounts of sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and chlorophyll, which is found in the leaves of plants. To ensure adequate amounts of fuel for the plants, photosynthesis must occur on an on-going basis.
While flowers are one of the most beautiful parts of any plant, they are for more than just looks. In fact, flowers have been identified as the reproductive system of most plants. Like many other organisms, flowers contain sexual organs which produce small eggs known as ovules. During pollination, ovules often undergo fertilization, which leads to the growth and development of fruit.
Like the stem, the fruit of a plant varies quite substantially. In many cases, fruit is only present during specific times of the growing cycle. While some fruits may be soft and edible, others are quite hard and may even be poisonous. Though the fruits of plants are often enjoyed by humans, their primary function is to serve as a covering for seeds.
Finally, seeds contain the materials necessary for growing new plants. Like other parts of the plant, seeds often vary in size, shape, and complexity. Without seeds, the growth and survival of a number of plant species would be severely limited. Many scientists today are focused on the preservation of various seeds to ensure plant longevity.
- The Great Plant Escape—Provides information on the different parts of a plant and their function.
- External Plant Parts—Description of the external parts of a plant, including roots, stems, leaves, and fruit.
- Meet the Plant Parts!—Interactive games that teach kids about the parts of a plant.
- Plant Structure and Function—Information related to plant structure and function.
- Real Trees 4 Kids!—Brief description of the process of photosynthesis.
- Photosynthesis—Describes how plants obtain energy through photosynthesis.
- Photosynthesis—Quizzes, games, and videos for kids regarding photosynthesis.
- Plants: Photosynthesis for Elementary School—Animations, games, and quizzes regarding photosynthesis
- But What IS Photosynthesis? (PDF)—Definitions and lesson plans related to photosynthesis.
- Gardening for Families, Friends, and Fun—Resources related to gardening with children.
- Winter Gardening Activities for Kids—Recommendations for winter gardening activities for children.
- Some Basic Tips for Gardeners Working with Kids—Tips and recommendations to ensuring fun and safety when gardening with children.
- Growing in the Garden—Lessons related to gardening for children.
- Gardening Fun for Kids—Description of fun garden plants that can be easily raised by kids.
- Kids Gardening—Instructional sources for kids interested in gardening.
- School Garden Grants—Information related to applying for a school garden grant.
- National Gardening Association—Education and information related to community gardening.