PLANT STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION Overview Plants are living organisms made up of cells. Plants need sunlight and water to live and grow healthy. Many plants, but not all plants, produce flowers, which make fruit and seeds in order for the plant to reproduce. Lesson Checkpoint: What does a plant need in order to survive? Parts of a Plant A plant has different parts that are all important in keeping the plant alive and healthy. Roots: A plant’s roots collect water and minerals from soil for the rest of the plant. The roots also help anchor the plant down so that it doesn’t come out of the ground during bad weather, such as heavy wind storms. The roots of a plant can store food for the plant but roots can’t make food. Roots often grow root hairs which help absorb water and nutrients from the soil. There are two different types of root systems: • A fibrous root system has many roots that grow in many different directions. Those many roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
• Plants that have a taproot system have only one large main root growing from the plant’s stem. Lesson Checkpoint: What are the two kinds of plant roots systems? Stem: The main job of a plant’s stem is to carry water and minerals from the roots to the rest of the plant. Plant stems also help support the plant so that it is able to reach sunlight which is needed by plants to make their own food and grow healthy. Leaves: We know that plants make their own food, but where does this food making happen in a plant? It happens in the LEAVES of a plant! First of all, plants need sunlight in order to make their own food. The leaves of most plants are flat so that they are able to capture as much sunlight as possible. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
Every plant leaf contains chlorophyll, which is the green material that gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll captures sunlight which is needed by the plant to make its own food. The process of plants making their own food is called photosynthesis. The food made through the process of photosynthesis in plants is sugar. Two important ingredients needed for photosynthesis are carbon dioxide and water. Plants use the energy from the sun to change water and carbon dioxide into food for the plant. Oxygen and water are the waste products of photosynthesis. Oxygen and water leave the plant through tiny openings found underneath the leaves of a plant which are called stomata. The process of water leaving a plant through the tiny openings, stomata, under each leaf is called transpiration. In order for a plant to get energy from the food it has made and stored, one more process needs to occur: respiration. Respiration is the process of a plant taking in oxygen at night and using it to get energy from the food it has stored. Lesson Checkpoint: What is transpiration? © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.