Basic plant structure
Structure of plant representing its basic parts.
The basic plant structure includes two organ systems: the shoot system and the root system. The shoot system consists of the parts of the plant that are above ground such as leaves, buds, and stems. In flowering plants, flowers and fruits are also part of the shoot system. The root system is made up of those parts of the plant below ground, such as the roots, tubers, or rhizomes.
Most plants grow from seeds, bulbs, or spores. Since plants cannot move, they use animals, birds, and the wind to scatter, or disperse, their seeds. Seeds come in all sizes. Some flower seeds are as small as grains of salt. Others, such as coconuts, are quite large. After it germinates, the first thing a growing seed does is send out (develops) a root. The root anchors the plant and absorbs nutrients and water from the soil. Next, a sprout with the first leaf grows. The leaves grow towards the sunlight.
Plants are the only organisms that have a green pigment called chlorophyll in many of their cells. Chlorophyll is found mainly in the leaves. It allows plants to make food (types of starch) from sunlight, water, and a gas called carbon dioxide. This special plant process is called photosynthesis. Plants release the gas oxygen during photosynthesis. Plants uptake minerals from the soil which help them to build the solid material in plant roots, stems, and leaves.