Nature Around Us
Concept : All About Plants
Plants are living organisms that make their food and provide oxygen to humans and animals.
- Since plants make their food, they are called autotrophs, while the others dependent on plants for food are called heterotrophs.
- Plans need water, air, soil, and sunlight to survive. Plants can be of different sizes and shapes.
Types of Plants:
Based on the size and shape, plants can be classified as follows—
1.Tree: Tall plants with firm and strong trunks. They live for many years. Example: Banyan tree, mango tree, palm tree.
2.Twiner/Climber: Plants with weak trunks that twine themselves around any support. Example: Grapes.
3.Shrub: Plants with soft trunks and short branches, are
of low height and stay near the ground.
Example: Rose plant.
4.Herb: These plants have soft and delicate stems that
are green in colour. They grow up to a short height and only live for
one or two seasons.
Example: Basil plant.
5.Grass: Very flexible plants with green stems, and the leaves are long and narrow. They have a very short lifespan.
Habitats of Plants:
Some plants grow entirely on land.
Examples: Guava, papaya, neem, etc.
Some plants grow in water and float on the surface.
Examples: Water lily, lotus, etc.
Some plants grow below the surface of the water.
Leaves of Plants:
Leaves are the food manufacturing units of a plant. We see many plants around us with different kinds of leaves. Some are long, slender, thin, and flexible (grass); some are broad, thick, and rough with varying shades of green (peepal, fig), and some are of completely different colours (ornamental plants).
The amla plant has very small leaves, while the leaves of a banana tree
are huge. The leaves of apple and cherry trees have grooves in the leaf
The lines visible on a leaf’s surface are called veins. The leaf's surface
is called the leaf blade, and the border is called the leaf margin.
- Some plants can be identified by crushing the leaves and smelling them. When crushed, a particular aroma comes out of it. Examples: Leaves of the lemon tree, tulsi, neem, nilgiri, etc.
|Tulsi leaves||Neem leaves||Nilgiri leaves||Lemon leaves|
The trunk of a tree connects the leaves and branches with the roots.
- The trunks of plants are called stems, and young stems are green in colour.
- As the stem becomes older, it becomes hard and brown/black in colour.
- The tree gets support above the soil due to the trunk.
- The main function of the trunk is to supply water and nutrients coming up from the roots to the different parts of the tree.
Roots grow downwards into the soil and give underground support to the tree.
- The roots divide into branches that help absorb water and minerals from the soil.
- Grasses have very soft and small roots, whereas roots of trees like banyan go deep into the soil and spread across a huge area.
- Autotrophs: Those who can make their food using sunlight, water, and other ingredients. Example: Green plants.
- Heterototrophs: Those who cannot make their food and
- depend on plants for their food. Example: Man, animals, birds.
Did You Know?
There is a plant named Touch-Me-Not, which folds its leaves quickly if someone touches it.
The Great Banyan Tree in the Botanical Garden of Kolkata is around 250 years old and covers 4.67 acres of land.