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PLANTS

What are Plants ?
Plants are living things. Like all living things, plants need food and water to live. They make their own food using water and nutrients absorbed from the soil. Plants grow in many shapes and sizes. Some grow on the ground, others grow in water.

Parts of plants and their functions
  1. Shoots: The part of the plant which grows upwards, above the ground forms the shoot. The shoot grows from a seed or from the main stem of a plant.
  2. Roots: The part which grows underground forms the root. Roots hold the plant firmly in the ground. They also absorb water and salts from the soil. Thick roots such as carrot and beetroot store food.
    There are two main types of roots.
    1. Tap root is long and sturdy. Thinner roots grow out of the tap root. Ex: Roots of bean and pea plants.
    2. Fibrous roots are made up of large number of equal-sized roots. Ex: Roots of onion, grass and wheat plants.
  3. Stems - The main support of the plant, above the ground is called the stem. At the top of the stem is the shoot. Along the stem there can be branches, leaves and buds. The water and salts absorbed by the roots travel up the stem and into the leaves. Food for the plant is made in the leaves. The food is carried by the stem to all parts of the plant. In some plants, such as sugarcane, the extra food is stored in the stem. Potato and ginger are underground stems. We eat these stems. Stems come in many varieties.
    1. Some stems are thick, strong and woody and are covered in bark. Ex: A neem stem.
    2. Some stems are thick but they are soft. Ex: A banana stem.
    3. Some stems are weak. They climb with the help of a support. Ex: A grape stem.
  4. Leaves: Plants make their food in the leaves. If you look carefully at a leaf you will see some veins on its flat part. The veins bring water and salts to the leaves from the roots.
  5. Flowers: Flowers are come in many colors and smell sweet. We use flowers to make garlands, to put into vases and for decoration during festivals. Flowers help plants to reproduce. In order for a flower to produce fruits with seeds, the pollen from one flower has to be carried to another flower. Pollen is a fine yellow dust. It is carried by the wind and water or by small insects such as bees.
  6. Fruits and Seeds: Fruits grow from flowers. Fruits contain seeds. First, a tiny bud appears on the stem of a plant. The bud grows into a flower. Later on, the flower grows into a fruit. When a fruit is broken open or dries up, its seeds may fall into the soil near the plant. Some seeds have wings and are carried by the wind to places far way from the plant. Some seeds get carried by the water/ animals to faraway places. Some seeds are collected by people and planted in the soil. Seeds usually have a hard covering. Inside each seed there is a baby plant. When a seed is put into soil and provided with enough water, sunlight and air, it can grow into a new plant.
Photosynthesis
Leaves have a green-colored pigment called chlorophyll. That is why leaves are green. Plants make food in their leaves with the help of chlorophyll. A plant needs water and nutrients from the soil, carbon dioxide from the air, sunlight and chlorophyll to make food. The food prepared by the green leaves is a kind of sugar. The plant uses the sugar to grow and live. The process of making food by the plant using water and carbon dioxide in the presence of sunlight is called photosynthesis. Oxygen is produced during photosynthesis. The oxygen comes out of the leaves and mixes into the air.

Related Links
Plants for first and second graders
Plants for fifth graders