When you have finished this page, try the Roots Quiz.

The root is the part of a plant that is usually found underground but can also be above ground.

Roots’ jobs are:

  • To absorb or take in water and minerals from the ground
  • To hold the plant in place.
  • To store food for the plant.
  • To prevent soil erosion.

There are two inds of root systems. One is the tap root system. In this system there is a main root larger than the other branching roots. The other is the diffuse root system. In this system there are many thin roots with smaller root branching out..

Tap roots are found in most trees and the carrot, parsnip, radish, beet, and dandelion. The grasses such as corn and rye have diffuse roots.

Root systems can be far larger the above ground parts of the plant. They tend to grow in length rather than width. The roots contain a cap at their end that is replaced periodically as the root grows through the soil.

Within the roots themselves are areas that store food and also tubes called xylem and phloem that take in water and minerals up to the leaves and to bring food manufactured in the leaves back down for nourishment and storage. There are tiny root hairs that maximize the water and minerals that the root can take in or absorb.

Roots of plants are helpful to man because they help the plant live and also man eats many different kinds of roots.

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