Thursday, January 05, 2012

Saintpaulia Hybrid Roots, A Look at What's Under the Soil.

 A young Ness' Crinkle Blue suffered for this post. Here are some of it's roots washed off for the most part and exposed for your viewing enjoyment!
The following photos are somewhat similar but interesting in that you usually don't get to see how the roots of your plant branch and attach themselves into the soil.
 Wikipedia describes the basics of roots in their article, which is one of many about the subject.

Roots preform a multitude of tasks for the plant including: "The four major functions of roots which are 1) absorption of water and inorganic nutrients, 2) anchoring of the plant body to the ground and 3) storage of food and nutrients and 4) to prevent soil erosion."
 Here is a root hair, which is also like the hair that sometimes occur on plant leaves. It's function is to increase the surface area of the roots for nutrient absorption.
 The roots grow from the tips, or the region known as the apical meristem. It elongates the root. Wikianswers describes it thusly: "An apical meristem is of each root tip a dividing zone that forms new cells in two directions. The meristem produces new cells in front of itself that become a loose fitting rootcap. Layers of cells in this cap are continually brushed off as the root elongates between soil particles. The cap is perpetually renewed by tiers old cells being formed and pushed down from the meristem.

 Another shot of the cool root hair which are usually single cells that become elongated and rarely branched.
 Here is the transition between the roots and the stem.
And finally, where the nutrients and water go after they are extracted from the soil.