Shoot System - Orchids The International School
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Parts of a Plant

Concept: Shoot System

What is a shoot?

A shoot is the leafy part of a plant’s body that grows above the soil.

Parts of a shoot:

The basic parts of the shoot are—stem, leaves, flowers and fruits.

Characteristics of a shoot:

  • The shoot system is important because the leaves help the plant to make its food, the flowers and fruits help the plant in propagation.
  • Most of the parts of a shoot system appear green because of the pigment called chlorophyll. It plays a vital role in photosynthesis.
  • Flowers are the most colourful parts of a plant. They attract pollinators like insects, honeybees and butterflies to facilitate the process of pollination.
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Parts of the shoot system:

The different parts of the shoot system, along with their structures and functions, are described below—

1. Stem:

  • It is the fundamental part of the shoot system.
  • The stem is also known as the trunk (in the case of trees). The stem gives rise to branches, which bear leaves, flowers and fruits.
  • The stem grows above the soil.

2. Node:

  • A node is a point anywhere in the stem from where a new twig emerges. It could also be a point of attachment of a leaf.

3.Internode:

  • The area between two successive nodes is called an internode.
  • When a plant grows, its internodes also increase in size.

4.Axil:

  • Axil is also known as the leaf angle.
  • It is the angle between the upper side of a leaf and the stem from where it grows.

5. Petiole:

  • The petiole is the stalk of the leaf.
  • All leaf blades arise from petioles.
  • Petioles help the leaf to remain attached to the plant stem.

6. Leaf blade:

  • Leaf blade is nothing but the leaf itself.
  • It is the widest part of the leaf that remains attached to the petiole.

7. Apical bud:

  • The bud located at the top of the plant is known as the apical bud.
  • Apical bud helps the plant to grow terminally.

8. Axillary bud:

  • Axillary buds are also called lateral buds.
  • This bud grows at the junction between a leaf and the stem.
  • These buds help the plant to grow laterally.

9. Flower:

  • Flowers are the most colourful structures of the shoot system.
  • The buds bloom to form flowers.
  • Flowers help in pollination.
  • Fruits are produced from the flowers.

10. Fruits:

  • Fruits are the fleshy edible parts of the shoot system.
  • Fruits bear seeds that give rise to new plants.
  • Fruits are developed from flowers.

Functions of the shoot system:

  • Support: The shoot system supports the whole plant body, and it also helps in leaf orientation so that they can get the maximum sunlight.
  • Conduction of water and minerals: The shoot of the plant helps to conduct the water and minerals that were absorbed by the root system to the leaves.
  • Bear flowers and fruits: The shoot system supports flowers and fruits, and that is how it helps in pollination, production of fruits and plant propagation.
  • Photosynthesis: The shoot system supports the leaves, which is the primary site of photosynthesis, a process by which plants make their food.

Types of leaves according to their arrangements:

Simple leaf: When only one leaf arises from the petiole.
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Compound leaf: When more than one leaf arises from the petiole.
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Opposite compound: When leaves are arranged opposite to each other at both sides of the leaf stalk.
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Alternate compound: When leaves are arranged alternately to each other on the leaf stalk.
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Modifications of stem:

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Tuber of potato
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Bulb of onion
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Rhizome of ginger
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Tendril of pea
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An offset of water hyacinth

New Words:

Chlorophyll: It is the green-coloured pigment that is present in most plants. It helps the plants to make their food by photosynthesis.

Pollination: It is the process through which the pollen grains are carried from one flower to another flower by pollinators like honeybees and butterflies.

Did You Know?

  • Some trees like pine do not have flowers. Instead of flowers, they have cones. Pine cones appear as scaly overlapping wooden conical structures.
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  • Fruits also have different parts—
  • The stalk of the fruit is called the pedicel.
  • The skin of the fruit is called the exocarp.
  • The fleshy and pulpy edible part of the fruit is called the mesocarp.
  • The outer covering of the seed is called the endocarp.
  • These three layers together are called the pericarp.
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