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Shoot System

Shoot System

In this concept, the shoot system in plants is discussed in detail. After reading the concept, students will be able to:

  • Name the parts of the plant shoot system.
  • Understand what is stem in plants.
  • Know what is petiole and leaf blade.
  • Identify the nodes and internodes in plants.
  • Know about apical bud and axillary bud.
  • Understand the function of shoot system.
  • Analyse the leaf arrangement in plants.
  • Know about simple leaf and compound leaf.
  • Give modified stem examples like potato tuber and onion bulb.

Each concept is explained to class 5 students using descriptions, illustrations, and concept maps. After you go through a concept, assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page.

Download the worksheets and check your answers with the worksheet solutions for the concept of the Shoot System provided in PDF format.

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.

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


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


Modifications of Stem:

Tuber of potato
Bulb of onion
Rhizome of ginger
Tendril of pea
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.
  • 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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