Plant Kingdom Questions
1.What are plants?
Plants are living things, which manufacture their own food in the presence of light. water air and chlorophyll. Almost 3,50.000 types of plants are known, which grow almost in all possible environment.
2.What do you know about the plant kingdom?
Plants were the first living things to appear on the Earth. long before animal life existed. It started from single celled plants such as algae. The plants survive almost all environment starting from land, water to even surface of wee rocks and dry deserts. They too require air, light and water to survive. The main difference between them and animals is that, they can make their own food whereas animals cannot.
3.How are plants classified?
Sometimes plants are classified according to their size and complexity But mostly they are classified based on the type of reproduction. According to this, they are grouped into spore bearing plants and seed bearing plants. Algae, Mosses, Liverworts and Ferns are spore bearing plants, while flowingplants and conifers are seed bearing plants.
LIFE OF PLANTS
1.Do plants really live?
Plants are living things like human beings. Firstly, because, they can make their own food with the help of light, air and water. Secondly, they produce seeds which can again grow up into new plants.
2.Do plants breathe?
Yes, plants do breathe. The only difference between animals and
plants is that animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, whereas, plants exhale oxygen during the day, and inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide during the night.
3.How long do plants live?
Plants are classified into annuals, biennials and perennials, according to their life span. Annuals are those plants which live for one year. These plants grow, flower and disperse their seeds, and die in a single season. Biennials live for two years. Perennials are those plants which live for more than two years.
SURVIVAL OF PLANTS
1.Do plants make their own food?
Plants grow and produce flowers and seeds which further develop into new plants. They also manufacture their own food. Plants grow upward to receive sunlight, which is necessary for making Sugar produced during photosynthesis is supplied to different parts of the plants Oxygen is released out to try Water is supplied part of the plant Minigol sotond water creabsorbu by the tools food. Green pigment called chlorophyll, present in the leaves absorb sunlight The leaves take in sunlight and carbon dioxide from the air. The roots draw up water from the soil. Cells inside the leaves use the energy of sunlight to change water, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll into glucose (type of sugar), which is the food for the plant. This process is called photosynthesis. The by- products of photosynthesis, i.e., water and oxygen, are released through small openings, called stomata in the leaves.
PARTS OF A PLANT
1.What are the differentparts of a plant?
Roots, stems, leaves and flowers form the different parts of the Flower plant The stem of the plant provides Fruit support to the flowers and leaves. It transports water, minerals and food, to and from the plant’s leaves Stom and roots. Roots The leaves make the sugar necessary for the plants to grow. The sugar is made by the use of sun’s energy, water and carbon dioxide. The roots are the anchor of the plant. They grow downward and hold the plant in place. They absorb the water and minerals from below the ground, required by the plants to grow. The flowers are the reproductive organs of the plant. Some flowers are small and hidden, whereas, others are quite prominent and colourful.
ROOTS AND STEM
1.Why do roots grow So long?
Roots grow long in order to fix the plant firmly in the ground, so that it does not shake or fall down easily. The roots are spread far and wide, so that, por the arted to mathe they can suck water and minerals from all around. The water and minerals are then transported through the stems to the leaves.
2.What are root hairs?
Root hairs are tiny hairs located at the end of the roots, which deep into the spaces between go lumps of soil.
3.Why are stems straight?
Plants need sunlight to make their food. In order to get the maximum sunlight, the stems grow upwards, tall and straight.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE ABSORPTION OF WATER BY PLANTS?
It is true that plants need a lot of water to stay healthy. Plants are mostly made of water. A pumpkin, for example, is 94% water. If we do not water plants, they will wilt and eventually die. Most of the water we give to a plant does not stay in its body. The water passes through the plant and evaporates into the air. Plants absorb most of their water through their roots. If you observe the ends of the roots carefully you will see that they look furry. This fur’ is made of the rool hair. This is where most of the water is absorbed. From the roots, the water travels up the stem in very thin tubes or vessels. Then, it moves towards the leaves. The water travelling through a plant and the substances dissolved in it is called sap. Eventually, the water arrives in the leaf where it escapes into the air as water vapour. The evaporation of water from the leaves of plants is called transpiration. The water vapour passes through microscopic pores in the leaf surface called stomata.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CARNIVOROUS PLANTS?
There are some plants which capture and eat insects. Still, they are green in colour. This is because these plants grow in the soil which is very poor in mineral content, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. These plants, called camnivorous plants, make organic matter for their bodies by photo- synthesis and they eat insects to obtain certain minerals. The sundew is a carnivorous plant which is found in Europe. It has leaves which are brightly coloured to attract the insects. These leaves are also covered with sticky hair which traps the insects which land on them. The pitcher plant is another carnivorous plant. Its leaves are shaped like tubes, which collect rain water. There is a sweet subsiance around the rim of each tube which attracts insects. Once the insect has entered the tube, it is prevented from escaping by small, slippery hair which points downwards. Eventually, the insect exhausts itself by its effort to escape and slides into the water. The pitcher plant releases juices which digest the insect.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SURVIVAL OF PLANTS DURING WINTERS?
It is difficult for plants to survive in winters. The days are shorter and there is less sunlight. The cold temperature slows down their growth. Often, the temperature drops below zero degree, freezes the water and makes it inaccessible to plants. Such conditions are sure to kill all plants if they do not have techniques for survival. Some plants enter a resting stage. The plants which show new growth above ground year after year are called perennial plants. The part of each of these plants above ground dies over the winter months, while underground storage organs assure the survival of that plant for the following spring. A bulb is an example of an underground storage organ. Annual plants are those which live for only one year. In the cold winter months, only their seeds survive and the plants grow when spring comes. Sunflowers are considered annuals because they grow for one year and die. Each flower leaves behind many seeds which can grow into new plants.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE GERMINATION OF SEEDS?
In general, most seeds germinate of temperatures between 10Â°C and 35-C Some seeds, however, need o period of cold conditions before they germinate. For example, cherry seeds germinate better if they are kept humid at 5 C, for 16 weeks. these seeds are kept at 25 C, they do not germinate Water is also important for the germination of seeds. A light fall of rain may be enough to start the germination of some seeds. For desert plants, the seeds often need to be sooked for several hours before they germinate. Most seeds germinale quite easily in the dark. Some seeds, however, need to be exposed to the light for a certain time before they germinate. For example, the seeds of the birch tree need 8 successive days and about 10 hours of sunlight before they germinate. The seed coat or testa which protects the
seed from damage or disease is often hard and waterproof. Some seeds do not germinate until the seed coat has been removed. Once the seed coat is removed, water enters and the embryo starts respiring. The seed coat may get removed when the soil particles rub against the seed coat and wear it away.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE TRANSPORT OF WATER FROM ROOTS TO THE OP IN THE GIANT REDWOOD TREE?
A redwood reaches a height of about 100 metres which is as tall as a 30-storey building. It has a system of inter- connected wood cells for carrying water The hollow, short thin cells are stacked intricately to form an incredibly tall column. These cells are dead wood that function as pipes with pitted openings along the sides of the pipe for water to pass between adjacent cells. The small cells rarely exceed o quarter of an inch in length. These form a continuous column of water within this pipe in order to move water through the pipe. Two forces move the water: a push and a pull. Roots do most of the pushing and leaves do most of the pulling. Water which evaporates from the leaves starts the suction process. Water molecules evaporate from a leaf and pull on the molecules around it as they depart. This creates a small suction in the water column and pulls water from adjacent water- conducting leaf cells. These mole- cules, in turn, attract those around them. The chain continues to the ground and moves water from the roots to the tree top.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE MOST POISONOUS PLANT?
The castor bean plant is the most deadly of all plants. If you eat a single castor bean or say two, you may die. If you live beyond three to live days, you will probably survive. Costor beans (not true beons, but rather seeds) contain o poison, called ricin. Il eaten it prevents the calls of the body from making proteins die without the proteins. The resulting damage to the body can be greot enough to kill o person eventually. The stalked leaves of the castor bean plant consist of eight radiating, pointed leaflets with slightly serrated edges and prominent central veins. Many varieties are green, but some are
reddish brown. The flowers are green and inconspicuous, but pink or red in the pigmented varieties. Costor beans are pressed to extract castor oil which is used for medicinal purposes.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT PEANUTS?
Peanuts grow well in any sandy place where it’s warm for 120 to 140 days, moderately rainy (25 to 50 inches yearly) and no frost. The plant originated in Souih America, perhaps Brazil or Bolivia. Now, it is grown worldwide. Farmers plant peanuts by seed. The seed sprouts, grows about 18 inches and bears light green leaves. Yellow flowers appear and bloom for about a month. The plant pollinates itselt usually, but occasionally, bees transfer the pollen to another plant. Afler fertilization, the flowers fade and the young fruit forms a pointed stalk called a peg points and grows downwards. The fruits (.e. peanuis) develop woody outer shells (the peanut shells). Then, the pointed fruits bury themselves in the ground. They continue to mature underground but ripen at different times-anywhere from 90 to over 150 days. Afterwards, they are harvested. peg. The
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE OLDEST LIVING CLONED PLANT ON THE EARTH?
King’s holly (Lomatia fasmanica) is the oldest living cloned plant on the Earth. This plant is 43,600 years old. In 1937, Deny king discovered the plant while mining tin by hand in the remote southwest of Tasmania. The plant was named in the King’s honour. This plant has shiny green leaves and bears pink flowers, but yields neither fruit nor seeds. All the plants of this species ore technically separate. Each of these plants has its own rool system. It reproduces itself by dropping branch pieces that take roots. It can only reproduce itself by cloning genetically identical bushes. Investigators have found the fossil of the leat fragments identical to the living bush 5.3 miles (8.5km) away. The cell structure and shape of the fossil are the same as those of the living plant. It means this ancient plant was triploid (having three times the haploid number of chromosomes) also. The life-span of King’s holly is approximately 300 years, but the plant has been cloning itself for at least 43,600 years.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SURVIVAL OF A FOREST AFTER A FIRE?
After a fire has occurred, the soil becomes less acidic and the amount of nutrients available to plants always increase That is why plants re-grow quickly after a fire. Fires usually occur in the evergreen forests of pines, spruces and firs which grow in hot, dry countries. Fires don’t burn everything uniformly. 5 % of these forests escape the fire probably because of the wet land. These patches provide seeds for the re-growih. Red and white pine trees branch high above the ground, away from a seething surface fire. Moreover, their thick bark can withstand low-level fires and, hence, they survive such fires. Seeds in Jack-pine cones can withstand temperatures of 900Â° Celsius (1,700Â° Fahrenheit) for short times. Warmth from the fire encourages the cones to open and release seeds. Within five to ten years, the forest is re-seeded. White birch and trembling aspen re- sprout from their roots, even if badly burned.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT REPRODUCTION IN PLANTS BY THEMSELVES ?
Many plants can propogole them selves by vegetative reproduction, In this process, part of a plant separates off, takes root and grows into a new plant. It is a process by which a new plant arises without the new comm production of seeds. It is found mostly in herbaceous plants and involves structural modifications of the stem, roots and in some cases the leaf also. Some plants produce bulbils or small bulbs Old con that develop on the stem or in the place of flowers. These bulbils drop off and grow into new plants. Similarly, some plants use underground storage organs. Such organs include rhizomes (horizontal, underground stems) like ginger, the branches of which produce new plants. Corms which separate from the parent grow into new plants. Other propogative structures are runners and stolons which are creeping horizontal stems that take roots and produce new plants.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT UNDERWATER PLANTS?
Plants which grow submerged in water are called wetland plants or hydrophytes. Some plants may grow partially in water like the woter hyacinth and some plants moy grow completely in water like the pond weed These plants have special adaptations to survive in this habitat. They have numerous air spaces inside their stems, leaves and roots which help exchange gases in addition to providing buoyancy. Submerged plants generally have no cuticles or waterproof coverings. This enables them to absorb minerals and goses directly from the water. The primary function of cuticles is to prevent water loss. Thus, most hydrophytes have no need for cuticles. The gos- exchange pores or stomata are not present in the plants that are completely submerged in water Whereas, in partially submerged plants with floating leaves like the water lilies, stomata are found on the upper leaf surfaces.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT EPIPHYTIC AND PARASITIC PLANTS?
Both epiphytic and parasitic plants grow on other living plants, but there are some differences. Epiphytic plants live above the ground level on the stems and branches of other plants. They get their supply of water from trapped rainwater and moisture in the air Besides, they get minerals from the organic matter that collects on the surface of the plant on which they grow. Like other green plants, they manufacture their own food by photosynthesis. Examples of epiphytes are tropical orchids, bromelaids and some mosses that live in temperate regions. Parasitic plants get all their nutrient requirements from the plants on which they grow. They produce root-like organs which penetrate the stems or roois of the host plants. Then, they grow inwards and merge with the vascular tissues of the host plants from which they get their supply of water and minerals. Fully parasitic plants lack chlorophyll, but partially parasiticplants like the mistletoe have green leaves and, hence, produce their own food by photosynthesis.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CINCHONA TREES?
The cinchong tree is a tropical tree which grows from 5 to 15 metres in height. It is on evergreen tree with brood and Hot leaves with a shiny green surface and large veins. The flowers are white and elongated, covered thickly with silky hair. The cinchong tree is native to the rainforests of the eastern slope of the Amazonian Andes of South America where it is colled the “ever free. It is called so because it is the primary source of the anit-malarial drug, ie, quinine Quinine is a chemical thot cures malaria. It is found in the bark of the cinchona tree. People in Peru still use the cinchong as the best remedy for fevers, digestive problems and infections. As a bitter tonic, cinchono stimulates saliva, digestive secretions and appetite. Moreover, it improves the weak digestive function. It is also used in making gargles for sore, and infected throats. In India, cinchona is used to treat sciatica (pain, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttocks and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg) and dysentery.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BAMBOO PLANTS?
Bomboo, a plant of the family Gramineae, is the longest grass in the world. Some bamboo plants are as short as 30 cm, while giant timber bamboo can grow to a height of over 40 metres or 100 feet. A bamboo plant consists of a hollow culm or stem with nodes or joints between the segments of the stem, and oval leaves. It is also perhaps the fastest growing plant with some varieties growing at the rate of 5 cm per hour or 1.5 metres a day. Within a few months, new shoots of the Moso species grow up to a height of 12 to 15 metres. New shoots of some of the larger species can grow over 1 metre per day. Once a bamboo shoot has reached full height and produces leaves, it never gets any taller. The bamboo plant has a wide variety of uses, ranging from being purely decorative to being an important source of fuel. It is utilised as wood in construction work, furniture, utensils, fibre and paper. Bamboo charcoal makes a good fuel because it is three times as porous as wood, and releases more energy. Bamboo shoots are also delicious to eat, whereas the leaves provide fodder for animals like the panda.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE PLANTS THAT EXISTED DURING THE DAYS OF DINOSAURS AND STILL LIVE TODAY IN THEIR ORIGINAL FORM?
Dinosaurs roamed the land from 225 to 65 million years ago. During that time, different plants evolved and some, like seed ferns, also died out. Others like mosses horse fails, ferns, conifers.cycods, magnolias lasted for long and remained unchanged. Mosses edged from the sea onto lavo-strewn land, almost 500 million years ago, but were severely handicapped. They had no roots and still don’t. Then around 400 million years ago, there came a group of three plants Club mosses, horse tails and fems with roots. The herds of long-necked Sauropod dinosaurs fed on the ferns. The descendants of these plants thrive today without much change. The club mosses and horse tails grew tall (100 feet, 30m). Seeds evolved next, about 225 million years ago. Conifers and cycad trees were among the first plants to produce seeds. Camarasaurs and Brachiosaurs hacked these early trees off with their blade-like teeth. These dinosaurs had steel-lined stomachs. Today, no mammal eats conifers because of their foul-tasting, toxic sap. Dinosaurs were alive around 100 million years ago when the first flowering plants appeared. Magnolias flourish today much as they did when dinosaurs roamed.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE PLANTS THAT APPEAR TO FLOAT ON WATER?
Some water plants are rooted in the mud and have their leaves above the surface, Such plants appear to floor on water. The water lily, also known as pond lily, is a lorge oquatic plant which appears to floot on water. The long, strong leaves and flower stalks of the water lily rise from the muddy bottom below. The leaves are kidney-shaped and are usually seen iloating on the surface of water, but may also be submerged. Giant water lilies have huge leaves with the edges upturned like shallow pans to keep them afloat. The leaves of the Royal or Amazon lily can be 2 metres across The flowers may be 30 cm across Another grass-like water plant that grows on River Nile is the papyrus Ancient Egyptians flattened their stems to write on. The word ‘paper comes from papyrus. Some species of buttercup float slightly submerged in water, only the flowers extend above the water. Their leaves and roots are long and thin and almost hair-like. The long roots and thin leaves also provide a greater surface area for the uptake of oxygen mineral solutes.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SURVIVAL OF PLANTS IN DESERTS?
Plants which grow in dry regions are known as xerophilous The roots of these plants spread out horizontally close to the surface of the soil. In this way, the roots can soak up whatever rain falls before the the heat of the Sun evaporates all the moisture. Some roots go down deep into the soil to search for damper places. The stalks of desert plants have no leaves and are covered with waxy materials which prevent moisture from evaporating from the plants. These plants are even covered with sharp thorns or spines to stop animals from eating them. Many plants produce beautiful flowers and fruits after rains. The stems of most cacti are massive and can store large amounts of water that sustain the plants during prolonged drought. Cacti have thick waxy cuticles on their stems, which act as water proofing skins. Also, the pores called stomata in the cactus skin that are necessary for the uptake of carbon dioxide tend to open only at night. As a result, ver little water is lost.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE VARIOUS USES OF EBONY?
Ebony is the hard black wood of various tropical treas marked for their hard and beautiful wood. There are more than 300 species of ebony, ranging in sizes from shrubs to trees, taller than 100 A (30 m). The best commercial ebony comes from India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zaire and the Celebes Islands. Only the black or brown heartwood is used commercially. The leaves of the plant are brood and vary in length according to the size of the plant. The flowers ore white or greenish-white, which are eaten by animals and humans because of their sweetness when ripe. The leaves and other parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine to treat intestinal parasites, wounds, dysentery and fever. The wood of the ebony is very dense. It is used for many purposes, including tool and knife handles, furniture, inlay work, wall panelling, golf club heads and musical instruments. For many years, ebony had been used for making the black keys on the piano.
WHAT IS BAMBOO – TREE OR GRASS?
Bamboo is thought to be a free but actually it is a kind of grass. It is the largest member of the grass family. Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world. Its accelerated growth rate (up to 3-4 feet/day) is due to a unique rhizome system and is dependent on local soil and climatic conditions. There are over five hundred types of bamboos. They all consist of smooth, hollow, joined stems with a strong watertight partition at each joint. All grow very quickly They grow upwards at a rate of 41 centimetres a day and can grow up to a height of 36 metres. While most bamboos flower every year, there are some that flower only three or four times in a century. The flowers are very similar to those of other grasses. The fruits are normally like grasses and some kinds are like nuts. Bamboo has numerous advantages. In the United States, bamboo is mainly used in fishing poles, walking sticks and phonograph needles. Bamboo has long been used to make paper.
WHAT ARE ALGAE?
Algae are the most primitive form of life. They are that live in oceans, lokes, rivers and damp mud. Algae vary in size from single-celled microscopic organisms to huge seaweeds over 60m long. For example, the largest known algo is the giant kelp which grows up to 65m in length. Algae do not have leaves, roots or stems like other plants, but they have chlorophyll in them which enables them to get their energy from sunlight. Algae may be tiny, but they form a vital source of food for sea creatures from shrimps to whales. They also provide most of the oxygen which water creatures need for life. Algae are used by humans in many ways. They are used as fertilizers, soil conditioners and are a source of livestock feed. Green algae are usually found in freshwater, whereas red or brown algae are found in the warm pigments. seas. The chlorophyll of red or brown algae is masked by other
WHAT ARE THE USES OF THE EUCALYPTUS TREE?
Erical trees make up of over 400 species of Australian tres They grow best in the morked wet and dry seasons of the eucalyphus tree ore long term and leathery which are cut pressed and men steamed to make eucaliphs oil. The ou of eucalyptus contains cineole, a potent antiseptic that helps kill bacteria and fungi, It helps increase cardiac action. It is taken in all types of fever. It helps purity blood. It lowers blood sugar it brings relief to the patients of asthma and bronchitis. The most important tree grown for oil is the blue mallee. The blue gum trees are usually found in North Americo. Some eucalyptus trees give resins, which are used to protect ships from worms and other animals which make holes in ships. Another Australian eucalyptus tree named jarrah gives red wood which looks like mahogany Other eucalyptus wood is used to make everything from bats to telegraph poles
WHAT ARE STOMATA?
Stomata ore microscopic pores found on the under side of leaves function to vary the widths of the pores. Plants carry on the processo Stomata are bounded by two half moon-shaped guard cells the leaves. Some of these materials are gaseous (carbon dioxide), sonive photosynthesis by combining together several ingredients in their are liquid (water) and one is energy (sunlight). The JO transfer of ingredients occurs, shifting the CO., light and water from the surrounding atmosphere to the plant. In light, the guard cells swell, causing the pore to be at its widest, and CO, diffuses into the leaf and into the cells to be assimilated in photosynthesis. In the dark or guard under drought conditions, the cells are not turgid, the stomata are closed and no photosynthesis takes place. Opening of the stomata allows not only CO2 to diffuse into the leaf, but also water vapour to diffuse out of the leaf.
WHAT IS BONSAI AND HOW SHOULD IT BE TAKEN CARE OF?
Bonsai in literally a plant wally o tres or shrub) grown in a frayor pon, The first plants grown pols were in Egypt about 4,000 years ago mostly for practical reunos, mobility and convenience. The Greeks, the Babylonians, the Persians and the Hindus copied the techniques, The Chinese were the first to plant trees in pols for oesthetic purposes obout 200 AD. A free planted in a small pot is not o bonsai until thos been pruned, shaped and troined into the desired shape. Bonsai is kept small by corelul control of its growing conditions. Only branches important to the overall design of a bonsai are allowed to remain and unwanted growth is pruned away Roots are confined to a pot and are periodically clipped. Bonsoi usually needs to be watered every day or two. The best time to water is early in the day or late in the afternoon at the same time every day. In general, the soil should be moist, not soaking wel, and not dry. Bonsoi must periodically be repotted to supply the pot-bound root system with fresh soil,
WHAT IS GRAFTING?
Grafting is a method of plant propagation widely used in horticulture with those of another. It is most commonly used for the propagation of gardening), where the fissues of one plant are encouraged to fuse trees and shrubs grown commercially. A part of one plant is connected lo a part of another plant, the two, then, grow together to become a Gc ne single plant. The top part, which will produce the branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit, is known as the “scion”. The lower portion, which produces the root system and the very bottom part of the trunk, is known as the rootstock. The scar where the two are joined, and which may remain visible ihroughout the life of the tree, is the grafi union. For successful grafting to take place, the vascular cambium tissues of the stock and scion plants must be placed in contact with each other. Both tissues must be kept alive until the graft has taken, usually a period of a few weeks. ge 46
WHAT ARE HERBS?
fragrant leaves and stems of plants whose stems are not Herbs are woody (exceptions like rosemary). They are small plants whose leaves can be used to make medicines, lood or perfumes. Most herbs are perennial and have soft stems. Basil, a sweet mild herb which has a peppery faste, is used in solado age is another which is thought to have special healing qualities. Its leaves are used fresh or dried. It is also a great flavouring for meat. Rosemary is a coastal plant and is believed to improve memory. Thyme is another herb which comes from the Mediterranean. It is very strong and spicy and is mainly used fresh or dried. It is one of the best herbs for seafood, but can be used with poultry, meal and vegetables too, Parsley thyme and a bay leaf may be tied in a muslin cloth and hung in soups while cooking to give them extra flavours.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF NUTS?
Actually it is a seed wrapped in a hard shell. Nuts are a concentrare A nut is a fruit with a single seed in which the outside has gone hond contain more food energy than sugar and more proteins, minerals nutritious food which contains 10-20% protein and 50% tat. Peon vitamins Almonds COM from trees native to Sous West Asia, but are now grown all over the world one The almond tree with white flowers produces bittee almonds, which are used in the manufacture of drugs used in medicines. Sweet almonds come from the tree with pink blossoms, which are grown in abundance in western Asia, Mediterranean regions and in Calitomia. Coconut was previously grown along the East Indies Coast and in the South Sea. But now, it is found in the tropics of all continents Coconut is rich in protein. Its oil is used in cooking. The brazil nut is very hard to crack, but very delicious. I grows in clusters of twenty or more tightly packed in a hard, round shell.
WHAT CAUSES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TASTES OF FRUITS?
Each fruit has a different taste which varies in some way from the taste of any other fruit. The foste of any fruit depends on the compounds it bears. In general, a fruit consists of fructose (natural sugar), organic acids, vitamins, starch, proteins, minerals and cellulose. All these materials are present in differeni proportions in different fruits. Fruits having more fructose-content taste sweeter, while those having more acids taste sour Orange is a fruit which comprises almost equal quantities of fructose and acids. Hence, it tastes both sweet and sour. In general, raw fruits contain more acids, but on ripening, the quantity of acid decreases and the amount of sugar increases. Therefore, raw mangoes are sour, but ripe ones are sweet. Some fruits, like lemons, do not taste sweet even after ripening. This is because of the excessive amount of acids.
WHAT ARE FUNGI?
Fungi are not plants, because they have no chlorophyll to make their food. They are a group of 50,000 species which include mushrooms, toadstools, mould, mildew and yeast. Since fungi cannot make their own food, they live on other plants and animals as parasites. Fungi are made of numerous thread-like structures called hyphae, which absorb the chemicals they feed on. Fungi feed on the host by releasing chemicals called enzymes, which break down chemicals in their host. Fungi which live on living organisms are called parasitic fungi, whereas fungi which live on dead plants and animals are called saprophytic. The most poisonous of all fungi is the destroying angel. It can kill anyone who eats it once. Fly agaric is o toadstool which is a poisonous mushroom. It is easy to recognize from its spotted red cap. The field mushroom grown wild or cultivated is the mushroom most widely eaten.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANTS?
Plants are helptul for the survival of human beings in several ways. They not only provide us with food, but also give us oxygen to survive. Plants consume carbon dioxide which we release and give off oxygen which human beings require to survive. Shampoos, perfumes, bath oils and creams are made from sweet smelling plants. The corks that seal the bottles of wine are made from the bark (cork) of the oak tree. Besides this, plants help us to make lots of useful things such as paper, cloth and medicines. The coal which we use today comes from plants which grew even before dinosaurs existed. Trees also provide us with fuel, timber, resins, varnishes, dyes, rubber and many more things. Softwood is obtained from coniferous trees such as pine, larch, fir and spruce. 75-80% of the natural forests of northern Asia, Europe and the USA are softwood. Hardwood timber is obtained from broad-leaved trees like the oak.
WHAT IS BARK AND WHAT ARE ITS USES?
composed of waterproof cork cells. One of its main function is The outer covering of the slem of woody plants is known as bark. It is shield the inner and more solf structures of the tree. It not only keeps them from drying out but also protects them against outside injuries The bark protects a layer of food conducting tissue called the phloer GO non or inner bark. The process by which bark is formed may continue year after year As the woody stem increases in size, the outer bark of the dead cork cells give way; it may split to form grooves or shed off or peel of A layer of reproductive cells, called the cork cambium, produces new cork cells to replace the old ones. The bark spongy bark of the hemlock tree is used in the tanning of leather Bottle corks are made from the thick, of the cork ook, which grows in the Mediterranean region. Quinine is made from the bark of the cinchona tree. Extracts from the bark of other trees are used for flavouring and as medicines ?
WHAT ARE LICHENS?
Lichens are a wonderful partnership of algae and fungi. There are about 20,000 species of lichens. They are usually flat and crust-like, with no roots or stems. They often grow on roofs or soil, but most grow on rocks or the branches of trees. The algae in lichens make food from sunlight to feed the fungi, whereas the fungi make a protective layer around the algae and hold water. Lichens can grow only when moistened by rain. They grow very slowly, but can eventually cover very large areas. Some lichens grow a fraction of a millimeters in a year. Lichens could survive in many places where other plants would die, for example, the Arctic, deserts and mountain tops. Some Arctic lichens are believed to be 4,000 years old. Lichens are very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulphur dioxide. Hence, they are used by scientists to indicate air pollution. Scandinavian reindeer moss is a lichen eaten by reindeers. It is also exported to Germany for decorations.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF A FLOWER?
Flowers are the reproductive organs of a plant. Usually, flowers have both the male and female reproductive parts. The male reproductive part consists of stamens, which are made up of filaments and anthers Filaments are tiny stalks which hold onthers. These anthers produce tiny dust-like grains called pollen. The female reproductive part consists of the carpel which is made up of style, stigma, ovary and ovules. The ovary is hidden in a bulb-shaped receptacle at the base of the flower. Inside the ovary are one or more ovules, which become seeds if the flower is not fertilized. In order for a flower to be fertilized, pollen must be transferred from the male stamento the female stigma. That is why flowers are colourful and scented so that bees may be attracted towards them to carry on the process of fertilization.
WHAT ARE THE USES OF THE WILLOW TREE?
Willow trees are usually found in moist habitats such as flood plains and on river banks. These trees grow very rapidly in this climate. The willow tree is very useful in several ways. Its leaves provide food for the wildlife. The leaves and bark of the willow tree have been mentioned in ancient texts from Assyria, Sumer and Egypt as a remedy for aches and fever. The bark of the willow free contains an active compound salicin, which is used in making many medicines. Aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, which was synthesized from derivatives of ihe willow bark. The twigs of the common osier are grown for the use in basket making, whereas the light bui dent-resistant wood of other willow trees is used in making artificial limbs, wooden shoes and cricket bats, brooms, cradles, boards, chairs and other furniture, dolls, flutes, poles, toys, tool handles, wands and whistles.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SEAWEEDS?
The term seaweed refers to the large marine algae that grow almost exclusively in the shallow waters of the edge of the world’s oceans They provide home and food for many different seo animals, lend beauty to the underwater landscape and are directly valuable to mon os food and industrial row material. Seaweeds can make their own food with the help of sunlight, but they are devoid of roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Instead of roots, seaweeds have ‘holdfasts which look like roots, Seoweeds may be red, green or brown algoe. Red algae are small and fer-like and grow 30-60 metres down in the tropical seas. Brown algae like the giant kelp are big, but grow down to about 20 metres only, usually in cold waters. Gulfweed floats so densely on the Sargasso Sea which covers an area of 5.2 million square km east of West Indies that it looks like a green meadow.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF ROSES?
Roses are one of the most popular garden flowers. This is because of their lovely perfumes and beautiful blooms. Wild roses have smaller flowers with usually single layers of five petals. Gorden roses have big flowers with sets of five petals in two or more layers. There are about 100 species of wild roses, but all the present-day garden roses were created by crossing 10 Asian species. Today, there are about 13,000 varieties of garden roses. Garden roses are divided on the basis of their time to bloom. Old roses bloom only once in a year in early summer, for example: yellow briers, damask roses etc. Perpetual roses bloom twice in early summer and in autumn, for example: hybrid perpetuals. Ever- blooming hybrids bloom all summer, such as floribundas, hybrid teas, gloribundas and polyanthas. Attar of roses is a perfume made from roses, especially damask roses.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CARNIVOROUS PLANTS?
Camivorous plants are those plants which trap insects for their food insufficient. Hence, they eat insects to fulfil the quantity of nitrogen These plants survive in places where the availability of nitrogen is required. An insect is lured into the jow-like leaf trap of the Venus fly trap with nectar Once the insect has landed, the jaws shut on the victim in a fraction of a second. Immediately, the plant secretes juices that drown and then dissolve the insect. The leaves of the sundew are covered in tentacles that ooze a sticky substance known as mucilage. Insects are trapped in its tentacles and are then suffocated within ten seconds. The pitcher plant is another carnivorous plant. The inside of the tubular shaped leaf is lined with downward pointing hair. The hair blocks an insect from climbing up the tube and escaping. The fluid in the bottom of the tube contains digestive juices that digest the prey.
HOW ARE SEEDS ESSENTIAL TO PLANTS?
Seeds are the main means by which flowering plants reproduce and spread. Alter a plant has been fertilized, the egg cells develop into seeds from which a new plant develops. When the seeds mature, they contain an embryo of a new plant. They also contain food storage to nourish the embryo, until it has developed roots and leaves. The seeds lie dormant until conditions are apt for them to germinate. The seeds are wrapped in hard shells to protect them from drying out. Many seeds are scattered by birds or animals. The animals eat the fruit. As a result, the seeds get deposited in their droppings. Some plants have seeds with hooks that cling onto the animal’s fur. Some plants like strawberry do not depend on seeds for reproduction These plants spread out stems at the end of which are small plantlets. These plantlets take the form of roots and become new plants
HOW DOES PHOTOSYNTHESIS TAKE PLACE?
Plants use sunlight to combine carbon dioxide from the air with water in order to make sugary food required by the plants. This process is called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis takes place in leaves in two cells palisade and spongy cells. Within these cells are tiny packages called chloroplasts which are filled with a througe CHEMICAL ENERGY CARBON DIOXIDE SUGAR jelly-like substance called stroma. The stroma contains the chemical called chlorophyll which makes leaves green. The leaf draws carbon dioxide through pores called siomata. It also draws water from the ground through veins and siems. When the sun shines, chlorophyll soaks up its energy and uses it to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen mixes with carbon dioxide to make sugar. Oxygen is released through the stomata. Sugar is transported along the plant and some sugar is combined into large molecules called starches, which are easy for the plant to store.
HOW DOES POLLINATION TAKE PLACE?
All plants must reproduce themselves in order to survive. Most flowering plants produce seeds that grow into new plants. There are two types of pollination-self pollination and cross pollination. In self-pollination, the male and the female reproductive organs are on the same flower. But in cross-pollination, the male and the female ,eproductive organs are on the different flowers of the same species. Pollen is produced by the male reproductive organ called the stamen. This pollen is carried to the carpel, which is the female reproductive organ. The lower part of the carpel is the ovule which develops into a seed when the pollen comes into contact with the ovary. This is known as pollination. For cross-pollination to take place, animals and Nature play a very important role. Bees and insects are the ones which are mostly involved in the transfer of pollen.
HOW DO FLOWERS GET THEIR SCENT?
Certain oils present in the petals of flowers give the flowers their fragrance. These oils are produced by the plant as part of its growing process. These oils are very complex Under certain conditions, these oils are decomposed and are formed into a volatile oil. When this oil 1 evaporates, we get the fragrance from the flowers. Different chemicals present in the volatile oil are res- ponsible for the difference in the scent of flowers. This ok W oil is also found in the leaves, barks, roots, fruits and seeds. For example, oranges and lemons have this oil in their fruits; almonds in their seeds and cinnamon in its bark. The first people to distil rose petals with water in order to produce rose water were the Arabians. This took place about 1,200 years ago
HOW DO MUSHROOMS GROW?
Mushrooms are umbrella-shaped tungi. They do not have any roots, stems or leaves. They have no chlorophyll to manufacture their own food. So, ihey feed on either living or decaying plants. The umbrella-shaped part of the mushroom is called! the fruiting body. Under the surface, there is a mass of fine stalk threads called the mycelium. The threads which make up the mycelium are known as hyphoe, while help it to absorb food. The fruiting body is covered with a protective cap. On the underside of the cap, there are lots of thin sheels called gills which are covered with spores. The fruiting body grows overnight after rainfall and lasts for just a few days. The mycelium may survive underground for many years. The mycelium threads grow from little spores which are shed from the fully grown mushrooms. The spores are carried away by the wind. When the spores fall on surfaces suitable for growth, they develop into new plants.
HOW DO PLANTS SURVIVE IN THE DESERT?
In spite of the hot and dry conditions of the desert, several types of Gok new This plants have adapted themselves to these conditions. Some plants with very long roots find water in the dry desert. For example, the Mesquite has roots that can go 50 metres deep. Many desert plants store water either in their stems, leaves or roots so that they may last through long periods of drought. Some of these plants also have thick, waxy skins which lessen the amount of water loss through evaporation. Pebble plants avoid the desert heat by growing partly underground. Some desert plants like the caper of the Sahara Desert get their water from the vapour in the air. Another desert plant called the welwitschia which grows in the coastal deserts of south-west Africa gets most of its water from the atmosphere.
HOW IS CACTUS ADAPTED TO HOLD WATER?
Most cacti grow in hot, dry regions, but a few are found in the rainforests and on mountain tops. Cactus plants have sharp spines, thick bulbous green stems and no leaves. The spines which are actually the leaves are designed in such a way that they lose as little water as possible through evaporation. The spines also proiect them from being eaten away by animals. The fat stems of cacti can hold a lot of water so that they may survive the hot and dry climate. They also have long roots which lie close to the ground so that they may collect as much rainwater as possible. Besides, long roots facilitate them to gather water from a large surface area. The cactus plant produce big colourful flowers afte every few years. If a piece of cactu gets knocked off, it can take root in th sand and grow into a new plant.
HOW ARE GRAPES USED IN VARIOUS WAYS?
Grapes are juicy, smooth skinned berries that grow in tight clusters on woody plants, called vines. They may be black, blue, green or purple in colours. Grapes are grown in places where there are warm summers and mild winters, especially in France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Chile, Romania, Georgia, South Africa and California. Grapes for eating fresh are called table grapes and they are bigger and sweeter 80% of the grapes are crushed to make wine. Wine from grapes was made by ancient Egyptians about 5,000 years ago. Grapes are made into wine by a process called fermentation. Grapes are also dried to make raisins. The San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys of California ore favourable for preparing raisins and lead the world in their production. Here, grapes ripen in August. They are plucked from the vines and allowed to lie in trays for about two to three weeks. Then, they are further steamed and soaked in special solutions to turn them into raisins.
HOW IS RICE GROWN?
About half of the population around the world thrives on a diet consisting mainly of rice. Predominantly, such people live in Asia. Wild rice thrives in the low water of lakes in north eastern Canada and in the United States. The seeds are sown in special beds and, then, transferred to a watery field after 25 to 50 days. Most rice known as low land rice is grown on flat, alluvial soil brought there by water. Such soil is normally found along the shores of lakes or banks of rivers. The fields are, then, flooded by inlets from the canals or the river through gates in the walls. The rice grower must keep at least 13 cm of water in the fields during the growing season. As soon as the leaves turn from green to yellow, the fields are drained for harvesting. In India, the process of growing rice probably began around 3,000 B.C.
HOW IS SUGAR MADE?
Sugar is the sweet-tasting natural substance. All green plants make sugar. When we speak of sugar, we mean sucrose, the sugar we use daily. It comes from sugar cone or sugar beet. Sugar cane is a tropical grass with woody stems which grow about 2-5 m tall, Sugar juice is extracted from the cane by shredding and crushing its stems. Sugar juice is, then, warmed to let the water evaporate. Hence, crystals are formed. Sugar beet is a turnip-like plant that grows in temperate countries. Sugar juice is extracted from the beet by soaking the thin slices of the root in hot water to dissolve the sugar. White sugar is obtained from sugar beet or by refining cane sugar. Brown sugar such as muscovado (a type of unrefined sugar) and demerara are refined cane sugar.
HOW DO PINE TREES STAY GREEN ALL THE YEAR?
ne trees are evergreen conifers with long needle-like leaves. They grow mostly in sondy or rocky soils in cool places. Pine trees remain green all the year round. Leaves absorb carbon dioxide (from the air), water and minerals from the soil. The chlorophyll in the leaves absorbs energy from the sun and changes carbon dioxide and water into sugar. This sugar constitutes the primary food for the tree. At the same time, leaves give off water in the process of evaporation through millions of tiny pores on their surface. In winter, when the ground freezes, the trees are unable to obtain a substantial amount of water. Hence, the trees shed their leaves so that they may not lose water by evaporation and hence, water is utilized in manufacturing food. In case of pines, firs and hemlocks that have narrow, needle-like leaves with thick, waxy outer coverings which help to avoid the evaporation of water, the leaves of these trees are not shed frequently. In this way, pine trees remain evergreen all the year.
HOW DOES NATURE SCATTER SEEDS?
For a plani to expand its type, seeds are vital. But seeds require appropriate conditions for growth. There are various methods by which seeds are scattered to the right place. In some seeds, the outer covering, has hooks, barbs or spines. They cling onto the fur of passing animals and sometimes onto the clothes of people and are, hence, carried away. Some seeds grow in sticky berries. When the birds feed on these berries, a few of the seeds cling onto the bills of the birds and are thus carried off. The plants which grow in or close to the water drop their seeds into the mud or water. As birds and animals walk along the shore in search of food, mud sticks to their feet and, hence, seeds are carried away. Some birds, insects and squirrels eat certain inds of seeds and bury some in the mud for later use. They sometimes forget about it and, hence, new plants develop. Some birds and animals eat the fruit and then deposit the seeds in their droppings
HOW MANY KINDS OF GRASSES ARE THERE?
There are about 4,500 kinds of grasses. All the cereals which we eat such as wheat, maize, com, rice, barley, oais, rye and millet all are grasses. We eat their seeds or grains. The leaves and stalks are usually left as animal feed. Most of the world’s sugar comes from the grass, sugarcane. The tallest of all grasses is the bamboo which grows to a height of more than 30 metres. The leaves of grasses can be distinguished from other plants in respect tha they are arranged in two opposite rows on the stem with a single leaf at each joint. The flowers are usually not brightly coloured. One of the most famous and important American grass is the Kentucky bluegrass. Its nutritious leaves and stems make it a rich pasture for livestock. Due to its blue-green beauty, it makes a dense, hardy turf when closely clipped. This grass is popular for parks, lawns and golf course
HOW DO WEEDS SPREAD?
A weed is a wild plant which grows where it is not wanted, especially among crops or gorden plants. Most weeds are harmful. Some are poisonous to cattle ond horses, whereas others hamper grown-up crops by robbing them of sunlight, soil , minerals and water. Gok spread by several means. Weeds are Ohen, they are carried from one place to another in the form of fodder, dust or rubbish. Most weeds like pimpernel, nightshade, dodder and grasses produce their seeds in such large quantities that some of them are likely to thrive, no matter what the condition may be. Other weeds have thread-like or wing-like projections on their seeds and fruits. These make it possible for the seeds to be carried away by wind to far-off places. Some of the most successful weeds do not get scattered by means of seeds.
HOW ARE ROOTS ESSENTIAL TO PLANTS?
Rools are those parts of the plant which gow down into the soil or water to provide anchor to the plant. Roots grow deep into the soil to sook up all the water and minerals which the plant requires for its growth. Since trees grow to enormous heights, it is the roots which balance the soreod of branches above. Every root has tiny root hair, which helps to absorb water and mine- rals. Roots are protected at the end by a thimble- shaped root cap. When a seed begins to grow, its first root is called the primary roof which branches into secondary roots. In some plants like the beetroot, the roots act as a food store. Other plants like the carrot have one single large root called the taproot with just a few fine roots branching off. Liverworts, hornworts and mosses do not have true roots. Instead, they are anchored to the ground by hair-like structures called rhizoids that resemble roots.
HOW DOES THE SHAPE OF A LEAF VARY?
Trees can be divided into two colegories according to their leaves broad leaved trees and conifers with needle-like leaves. Trees can be identified from their leaves. Leaves vary not only in shapes but also on the basis of the number of leaflets on the same stalk. Leaves also vary in terms of their leaflets which are either paired or offset. Trees like birches and poplars have small triangular or ‘deltoid’ leaves, whereas aspens and alders have round leaves. Limes and Indian bean trees have heart-shaped or ‘cordate’ leaves. Maples and sycamores have leaves shaped a bit like hands and, hence, the leaves are referred to as ‘palmate’. Ash and walnut trees have lots of leaflets on the same stalk. It gives them a feathery or ‘pinnate’ look. Many shrubs like magnolias and buddleias and trees like willow, cherry, sweet chestnut and cork oaks have long narrow leaves.
HOW DOES THE WHEAT PLANT LOOK LIKE?
as one of the first crops ever planted and grown by formers, some er forms the basic food for 35% of the world’s population. Wheot 1,000 years ago Today. There are over 30 ories of wheat which ore grownThe emmer and einkom cre among the oldest. Like several other cereals, wheat is also a kind ol gross Spring wheat is planted in spring and harvested in the following summer. The wheat plant grows to a height of 0.6 m to 1.5 m. The young wheat plants are short and green and look like ordinary grass. They furn golden as they ripen. There are stalks called tillers which branch from the main stem. Wrapped around them is the base or sheath of the leaves. The flat top of the leaf is called the blade. The head of the corn where the seeds or grains grow is known as the ear or spike. What we eat is actually the seeds core, ground into flour which is used to make bread, pasta and many other things.
HOW DO LEAVES CHANGE THEIR COLOURS?
All leaves are green in colour. But in autumn, some leaves change their colours to yellow, orange or bright red. The green colour in leaves is due to the chlorophyll present in it. Other colours are also present in a leal but we cannot normally see them. In summer, the leaves appear green because the chlorophyll present in it makes food As the weather starts getting colder, the food that has been stored in the leaf begins to flow out to the branches and trunks. In winter, the plant does not make any food. Hence, the chlorophyll disappears and other pigments which are present become visible. The yellow colour of the leaf is due to the pigment xanthopyll, the orange is due to the pigment carotin and the bright red colour is due to anthocyanin. Hence, we are able to see all these beautiful colours.