External Organization of a Plant Root

Last time it was shoots, this time it’s roots!

Diagram of a root tip with labels.

Root Tip – Region where root growth occurs.

Root Apical Meristem – Analogous to the shoot apical meristem (where growth occurs) except more orderly. Located at the tip of the root under the root cap.

Root Cap – A protective layer of cells around the root apical meristem.

Region of Elongation – Area behind root cap and meristem where cells undergo division and expansion.

Region of Maturation – Area where cells continue to differentiate.

Root Hairs – Narrow cells that increase root surface area allowing for greater soil penetration, release of carbon dioxide, and absorption of ions. These live for 4-5 days.

Lateral (Branching) Roots – Smaller roots (often numerous).

Red root tip of an orchid plant on a grey palm trunk
A root tip of an orchid (red part).

 

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