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Root systems

The roots of a plant are connected differently in different plant species and this is known as the root system. There are two main types of  root systems :

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Fibrous root system


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A tap root system

Tap root system

The first root produced from a seed is called the radicle. In many dicotyledonous plants this root greatly enlarges to become the most prominent root of the plant and is known as a tap root. Many smaller branch roots may grow from the tap root.

Fibrous root system

In monocotyledonous plants, the radicle is short lived and is replaced by numerous roots of more or less equal size. These roots are adventitious which means they can grow from plant organs other than roots e.g. stems.



Different types of roots

A tree or plant's roots can have functions apart from anchoring it and absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. There are many different types of specialised roots which have evolved in both trees and plants. The image below shows some interesting examples. Click on it when it indicates a specialised root type about which you want to learn more.

Rotating root types

Sometimes it is not so easy to know whether a plant structure is a root or a stem. There are some stems which grow under the ground and there are some roots which grow above the ground.

See if you know which of these common vegetables are roots.
You may be in for a surprise !

Start the Root Vegie Game
The Root Veggie Game





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