Plants are autotrophic living beings , that is, they produce their own food. They are multicellular and eukaryotic organisms , since their cells contain a nucleus and cellulose cell wall. They belong to the kingdom Plantae , as well as to the group of producers, the first link in the food chain.
Examples Of Some Plants
Some examples of plants are trees such as pines and oaks, flowers such as sunflowers, roses and tulips, shrubs and herbs. All of these arose from the symbiosis of a cyanobacteria and a eukaryotic protozoan, thus forming the first algae. Over millions of years, algae evolved into the plants we know today.
Characteristics Of Plant
One of the common characteristics that plants have is that they carry out photosynthesis through chloroplasts . From water (H 2 O), carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and solar energy, they obtain glucose as food (C 6 H 12 O 6 ) and emit oxygen (O 2 ) into the atmosphere. For this reason, plants are key organisms in the oxygenation of the atmosphere and act as carbon fixers .
They also carry out cellular respiration , which is the reverse process of photosynthesis. During the night, plants take in oxygen and glucose for energy, releasing water and carbon dioxide. In parallel to both processes, plants also use mineral salts for the development and maintenance of all parts.
Most plants have a haplodiplonic life cycle , with a haploid phase and a diploid phase. In the haploid phase, also called gametophyte , cells are formed with a single set of chromosomes that then join others through mitosis. In the diploid, also called sporophyte , spores are formed with all the chromosomes, and then they divide through meiosis.
Some plants exhibit asexual reproduction, with descendants that share the same DNA. Some examples are tubers, plants that reproduce by stolons, or plants that reproduce by rhizomes.
Finally, plants are sessile , without locomotor capacity, that is, they cannot move. However, many species can move, leaning to better capture sunlight or detecting surfaces on which to lean.
Types Of Plants:
Plants are divided into different categories according to the characteristics that define them. Broadly speaking, they can be classified as follows:
The first classification involves two different types, depending on whether or not it has conductive tissues, roots, stems and leaves:
- Bryophytes or non-vascular plants : this group includes all plants that do not contain conductive tissues, roots, stems, trunk or leaves. An example is mosses.
- Tracheophytes, cormophytes or vascular plants : they are those that do have conductive tissues, and are characterized by the presence of roots, stems or trunk, and leaves.
Within tracheophytes, there are two different classifications depending on whether the plant produces seeds or not:
- Pteridophytes or cryptogams : these are the rest of the plants that do not produce seeds, such as ferns and horsetails.
- Spermaphytes or phanerogams : these are plants that produce seeds.
Spermatoes are divided into two main groups according to the presence or absence of fruits and ovules that protect the seeds and ovaries, as well as flowers:
- Gymnosperms : they are woody plants whose seeds are unprotected, since they do not have fruits or ovules. The wind plays a key role in the reproduction of these living beings. Conifers such as pines, cypresses, cedars, and redwoods are some prime examples.
- Angiosperms : is the group of plants that contain fruits, ovules and flowers, so that the seeds and ovaries are protected. The wind, insects, birds and the consumption of their fruits are a fundamental part of the pollination and reproduction of these plants. Some examples of angiosperms are wheat, apple trees, wheat and sunflowers.
Finally, in angiosperms we can find two types of plants according to the number of cotyledons or primordial leaves:
- Monocotyledons : these are those that, when the seed germinates, a cotyledon grows, such as lilies, orchids or palm trees.
- Dicotyledons : these are those that, when the seed germinates, two cotyledons emerge, such as tamarinds, cherry blossoms, lotus flowers and daisies.
Plants can also be grouped in other ways. For example, according to its life cycle:
- Annual plants : they complete their life cycle in less than a year, such as basil or soybeans.
- Biennial plants : their life cycle spans two years, such as parsley and onion.
- Perennial plants : these are those that live for several years, such as petunias.
Depending on the type of extreme environment to which the plants are adapted, they can also be:
- Hydrophytes or aquatic plants : they are plants capable of living in water or environments with a high degree of humidity, such as water lilies.
- Xerophytes : These are plants that live in desert conditions and arid environments, such as olive trees and cacti.
- Halophilous : they are plants that have adapted to saline environments.
Parts Of Plant:
The parts of a plant can vary depending on the type and species to which it belongs. In general, we can see the following parts:
- Root : It is the underground organ that serves as the foundation of the plant, providing grip, and to absorb water and nutrients present in the soil. Over time, the main root divides into several secondary roots-
- Stem or trunk : provides structure and support for the rest of the organs of vascular plants. It is also the means for transporting water and nutrients.
- Node : is the part of the plant from which at least one branch or petiole develops, giving rise to leaves.
- Axillary bud : it is a plant organ located between the node and the petiole or branch. There the apical meristem is formed, which gives rise to cell division and expansion, allowing the generation of petioles, branches, leaves and flowers.
- Petiole or branch : it is a branch of the stem or trunk that extends to the sides, giving rise to the leaves and/or flowers of the plant.
- Leaf : plant organ that receives sunlight and converts it into energy through the process of photosynthesis.
- Seed or gamete : organ that carries the plant’s reproductive genes.
- Fruit : organ of the plant that protects the seeds.
- Flower : vital organ for sexual reproduction, where seeds, pollen and some fruits can be produced.
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