Plant Roots

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Introduction to Plant Roots

The roots are the organs that are found in the vascular plants which are modified to supply water and nutrients to the plant body that in turn helps the plants to grow taller fast. Most of the time they lie below the soil surface, but some of the roots might be aerial which are found growing above the surface.

What are Plant Roots?

The plant root is the organ that is modified to supply the water and nutrients from the soil to the whole plant body. The plant root anatomy is as follows:

The root morphology is divided into four types:

1. Roto Cap:

The root cap of the new roots helps the roots to penetrate into the soil. As the roots go deeper into the soil they create a slimy surface that provides the lubricant, then the root caps are sloughed off.

2. Apical Meristem:

The apical meristem that is present behind the root cap produces new root cells. It is one of the three types of meristem that further differentiates to form new cell types.

3. Elongation Zone:

The elongation zone is the place where the newly formed cells increase their length. It includes three regions such as the area of cell division, the area of elongation, and the area of maturation.

4. Hair:

The root hair cells are the specialized structures that allow the plants to absorb water and mineral nutrients.

Different Types of Roots

The true root system consists of the primary root and secondary root. The roots are specialized to serve more adaptive functions.

1. Taproot:

It consists of the main central root in which small lateral roots called the root hairs are attached.

2. Fibrous Root:

The thin moderately formed bushy roots branch out from the main stem.

3. Adventitious Roots:

The root tissues that formed from any of the non-root tissue that is produced during normal growth and in response to the stress conditions.

Modifications of Types of Roots in Plants:

1. The adventitious roots become thick and fleshy as the storage of food gets increased.

  • Tuberous Root: Sweet potato

  • Fasciculated Fleshy Roots: Dahlia

  • Palmate Roots: Orchis

  • Nodulose Roots: Ginger, turmeric

  • Moniliform or Beaded Roots: Indian spinach

2. Prop or Pillar:

The pillar-like structures grow from the horizontal branches. In banyan tree that is growing in Indian botanical gardens, has 1775 props.

3. Stilt Roots:

The short and thick supporting roots develop from the basal nodes. After penetrating the soil they develop as fibrous roots for the firm support. Generally, it occurs for the better absorption of water and mineral salts.

4. Clinging or Climbing Roots:

The non-absorptive adventitious roots that are found in climbers.

5. Assimilatory Roots:

The green roots that are capable of photosynthesis are called assimilatory roots. They develop from the stem nodes and are highly branched to increase the area for photosynthesis.

6. Parasitic Roots:

The roots occur in parasites which helps them to absorb nutrients from the host. They are also called sucking roots.

7. Epiphytic or Aerial Roots:

The plants that are living on the surface of the other plants for space and shelter, roots that occur in these types of plants are epiphytic roots.

8. Floating Roots:

It arises from each node of the adventitious roots, where some of them store air and become inflated which makes the plant float.

9. Reproductive Roots:

The roots are fleshy and produce adventitious buds, where these buds develop under sustainable conditions to form a new plant.

All these modifications can be found because of the plant root growth depending on the support it provides to the plants in various forms.


Along with all these functions, let’s see what are roots helpful for, how it protects the environment? The distribution of the plant roots in the soil depends on the form of the plant. The deepest roots generally found in deserts and in temperate coniferous forests. The roots can grow as deep as the height of the tree. Soil temperature is a factor that affects plant growth. Soil as a medium the plant-plant interaction happens. The roots play a major role in predicting the environment, by holding the soil particles together to avoid soil erosion.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are Plant Roots? Write the Difference Between Taproot and Fibrous Root.

Ans: The roots are the organ found in vascular plants that helps to absorb water and mineral nutrients from the soil.


Fibrous Root

They are found in dicots. 

They are found in monocots.

It consists of the main primary root that further develops to form secondary roots. 

It consists of fine hair-like roots.

It develops from the article.

It develops from the stem or leaves.

Responsible for absorbing water and mineral nutrients from deeper resources.

It absorbs fertilizers and helps to prevent soil erosion.

2. Mention the Types of Roots.

Ans: The main types of roots include:

  1. Taproot

  2. Fibrous root

  3. Adventitious root