Plant Parts – Types, Structure and Function

In this post, we will discuss plant parts – types, structure and function: Functions of roots, types of roots, adventitious roots, root cap, stem, functions of stem, leaf and parts of leaves, leaf venation, functions of leaves, flower and fruits.

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Plant Parts

A normal plant body is divided into a root and shoot system. The whole plant is divided into Roots, Stem, Leaves, Flowers and Fruits. The root is the underground part of the plant that absorbs water and minerals through the soil and sends it to leaves via the stem. Stem is the supportive part of a plant that holds leaves, flowers and fruits.

What is Root?

Roots are one of the major parts of a plant body that absorb water and minerals from the soil which helps in photosynthesis and provides a proper anchor to the plant.

Functions of Root –

  1. Absorption of water and minerals from Soil.
  2. Help in Photosynthesis.
  3. Provides proper anchorage to the plant parts.
  4. Stores reserve food materials.
  5. Synthesis of plant growth regulators.

Types of Root

Though all types of roots have the same function, they are classified into Tap roots and Fibrous roots. The division is based on Dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants.

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Tap Root

In the majority of the dicotyledonous plants, the direct elongation of the radicle leads to the formation of a primary root which grows inside the soil. It also bears lateral roots referred to as secondary, tertiary roots etc. The Primary roots and their branches constitute the tap root system.

Tap roots of carrots, and turnips and adventitious roots of sweet potatoes, get swollen and store food.

Mustard, Carrot, Beetroot, Parsley, China rose and all dicotyledons are examples of taproot systems.

Fibrous root

In monocotyledonous plants, the primary root is short-lived and is replaced by a large number of roots. These roots originate from the base of the stem and constitute the fibrous root system.

What is root cap?

The root is covered at the apex by a thimble-like structure called a root cap. It protects the tender apex of the root as it makes its way through the soil.

Adventitious roots

In some plants like grass, Monstera and the banyan tree, roots arise from parts of the plant other than the radicle and are called adventitious roots.

Hanging structures that support a banyan tree are called Prop roots. Similarly, the stems of maize and sugarcane have supporting roots coming out of the lower nodes of the stem. These are called Stilt roots.

In some plants such as Rhizophora growing in swampy areas, many roots came out of the ground and grow vertically upward. Such roots are called pneumatophores, which help to get oxygen for respiration.

Modified roots are – Carrot and Sweet Potato


Stem is an art of plant shoot that is considered as plant axis and bears buds, leaves, fruits and flowers. The stem of the plant helps in conducting water, food and minerals.

The region of the stem where leaves are born is called a node while internodes are the portions between two nodes.

Functions of Stems

  1. It acts as a Storage of food.
  2. It supports the plant body.
  3. Its tough covering protects the plant from external effects.
  4. some plant takes part in vegetative reproduction.

Examples of Modified stems

  • Potato, Ginger, Turmeric, Zaminkand, colocasia are modified stems to store food in them.
  • Stem tendrils which develop from Axillary buds are slender and spirally coiled and help plants to claim such as in gourds (Cucumber, Pumpkins, watermelons) and grapevines.
  • Axillary buds of stems may also get modified into woody, straight and pointed thorns.


leaves originated from shoot apical meristems. The leaf develops at the node and bears a bud in its axil. The axillary bud later develops into a branch.

A leaf has mainly three parts – Leaf base, Petiole and Lamina.

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Leaf Base –

This is the part where a leaf attaches to the stem. The leaf base has two small leaf-like structures called Stipules. In Plants like paddy, wheat and other monocotyledons, this leaf base is wide and masks the stem.

Petiole –

Petiole is the long, thin, stalk that holds the leaf blade to the Stem. It helps to incline the lamina to light and flutter in wind and thereby cooling the leaf and bringing fresh air to the leaf surface.

Lamina –

The lamina or the leaf blade is the green expanded part of the leaf with veins and veinlets. There are middle prominent veins and veinlets. There is a middle prominent vein which is known as the midrib. Veins provide rigidity to the leaf blade and act as channels of transport for water, minerals and food materials.

Leaf venation

  • The arrangement of veins and the veinlets in the lamina of a leaf is termed venation.
  • There are two types of leaf venation – 1. Reticulate venation 2. Parallel venation.
  • When the veinlets form a network, the venation is termed Reticulate Venation and when the veins run parallel to each other within a lamina, the venation is termed Parallel Venation.
  • Leaves of dicotyledonous plants generally possess Reticulate Venation.
  • Parallel venation is characteristic of most monocotyledon plants.

Examples of Modified Leaf

Tendrils, Spines, Venus-fly traps, Onion, and Garlic bulbs are examples of modified Leaves.

Functions of leaves

  1. Photosynthesis is the primary function of leaves.
  2. Stomata present on leaves help in the exchange of gases and transpiration.
  3. Leaves store water and nutrients
  4. some leaves are modified into Spines to protect themselves from external harm.
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Flower is the reproductive unit in the Plant. It is meant for sexual reproduction.

Reproductive units present in flowers are androecium and gynoecium. When both androecium and gynoecium are present in the same flower then it is called bisexual. A flower having either only stamens or only Carpels is called unisexual.

The androecium is composed of stamens. Each stamen which represents the male reproductive organ consists of a stalk or a filament and an anther.

The Gynoecium is the female reproductive part of the flowering plant and is made up of one or more carpel. Carpel consists of three parts – Stigma, Style and Ovary. The ovule is present inside the Ovary. After fertilization, Ovules develop into seeds and the ovary matures into a fruit.


The mature or ripened ovary developed after fertilization is called fruit. If the fruit is formed without fertilisation of the ovary, it is called a parthenocarpic fruit.

FAQs on Plant Parts

Which part of a flower is converted into fruit?

The mature and ripened Ovary after fertilization is called fruit.

what are the parts of Carpel?

Gynoecium is the female reproductive part of the flowering plant and is made up of one or more carpel. Carpel consists of three parts – Stigma, Style and Ovary.

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