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By Sadhana Kumar Class II-B GIIS East Coast

Role of plants
One of the most important things plants do is create oxygen. This makes life on Earth possible for animals. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide in the air which is responsible for global warming. Plants make their own food by using this carbon dioxide along with water and sunlight. This process is called Photosynthesis. In addition to making food for themselves, plants make food for animals. Animals eat many different plant parts. For example, cows, horses, zebra and deer eat the leaves of grass. Animals like monkeys and elephants eat leaves and fruits. People eat almost all parts of a plant. Plants are also an important source of building materials and other resources that make life possible for other living things. This project describes the various parts of the plant structure along with pictures of the edible parts in the plant itself.

The Structure of a Plant

A plant has many parts, both underground and above the soil. The basic structure of a plant includes two systems:

The shoot system:

The shoot system consists of the parts of the plant that are above ground, such as leaves, buds, and stems. In flowering plants, flowers and fruits are also part of the shoot system.

The root system:

The root system is made up of those parts of the plant below ground, that is, under the soil.

Roots are mostly found under the soil. Their main functions are as follows: * Anchor the plants to the soil and to hold the plant upright. * Absorb water, minerals and nutrients from the soil and transport them to the stem. Some roots help the plants in climbing, while some roots can help in reproduction. Aerial roots of a banyan tree are used to support the large tree. Some trees growing in water have roots that grow upwards above the soil to breathe in oxygen. In some plants, roots also help to store food. Some of these roots that store food can be used as vegetables.

Edible Roots:
Radish Carrot


Sweet Potato

Stem is the main part of the shoot system. It is most commonly found above the soil. The main functions of the stem are: * Provide support for the other parts of the shoot system, such as, leaves, flowers and fruits. * Transport water from the roots to the leaves to make food. * Transport food, minerals and other nutrients to different parts of the plant. Some parts of the stem, like tubers, bulbs, rhizomes and corms are found below the soil, which can store food. Some of these storage stems can be used as vegetables. In plants like cactus, which do not have leaves, stems make food by photosynthesis. Stems also help in reproduction.

Edible Stems:
Potato: Tuber Onion: Bulb Ginger: Rhizome Arvi: Corm

Bamboo: Shoot

Celery: Stalk

Sugarcane: Stem

Asparagus: Shoot

Leaves are the food factories of the plant. They are part of the shoot system and are attached to the stem of the plants with a stalk. The main function of the leaves is to make food by photosynthesis. The leaves take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during daytime. During night time, they breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide just like other living things. Some leaves also help in reproduction. Leaves come in different shapes and sizes. They help us in identifying the plant. Water plants like lotus and lily have very large leaves, while desert plants like cactus have very small leaves, thorns or no leaves at all. Some plants like the pitcher plant have special leaves used to capture insects they eat.

Edible Leaves:
Spinach Cabbage Aloe Vera

Curry Leaf



Flowers are the reproductive parts of a plant. Flowers give rise to fruits and seeds. Flowers occur in various shapes, sizes and colours. Most of them produce beautiful fragrances. Their colour and smell attract insects which feed on their nectar to produce honey. The insects, in turn, carry pollen from plant to plant and help in reproduction. Flowers like Orchids and Roses used in decoration in vases and bouquets. Flowers are also used to adorn womens hair. Some flowers like Chrysanthemum and Jasmine are used in making tea. Neem and Saffron flowers are used in cooking and as medicine. Flowers like Lavender and Roses are known for their soothing fragrance. They are used in perfumes and oils. Vegetables such as cauliflower and Broccoli are also flowers.

Edible Flowers:
Neem Cauliflower Clove




Fruits and Seeds

Fruits are the final product of the plants. They help in reproduction. Fruits can be fleshy or hard depending on the plant species. Most of the vegetables are really fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. The fruits contain seeds inside them, which when planted in the soil can grow into a new plant. Some fruits like mango, avocado, strawberries and cherries have one seed, while some fruits like watermelon, custard apple and pomegranate can have many seeds which are small. Seeds are carried from one place to another by wind, water or animals. This helps them to propagate to a new place.

Edible Fruits:
Mango (Single Seed) Apple (Few Seeds)

Watermelon (Many Seeds)

Banana (No Seed)

Edible Seeds:
Coconut (Nut) Peas (Bean) Rice (Cereal)

Cashew (Nut)

Peanut (Bean)

Corn (Cereal)

Vegetables that are actually fruits formed from flowers:

Tomato Chilli Brinjal



Ladies Finger