Adaptation in Plants

Different kinds of plants.

There are different kinds of plants. Plants grow almost all over the earth. Some plants grow in hot places while some plants grow in cold and dry places. Few plants also grow underwater.

Plants vary from each other according to climatic conditions of their surroundings. They bring change in themselves to survive the climatic conditions of the area. This is known as adaptation. Earth can be classified into two parts – The land and the water. Therefore, on the earth there are mostly two types of plants. These are terrestrial plants and aquatic plants.

TERRESTRIAL PLANTS

The plants which grow mainly on land are known as terrestrial plants. The word terrestrial means ‘on the land’. Plants like mango, banyan, peepal grow in warmer climate of the plains.

Such types of plants have lots of branches. They shed their leaves in winter to protect themselves. In summer, they bear the heat and give us shade.

Plants like teak, palm, coconut grow in hot and humid places. They have lots of leaves. But they do not shed them. So they remain evergreen. Other examples of plants that grow in such places are rubber, sugarcane, cotton etc.

Some plants like cedar, pine, spruce and fur grow in very cold climate. Such type of plants need very low temperature. They are usually tall and straight and are grown in hilly areas. Instead of flower they have cone. So they are called Conifers. Seeds are contained in the cones. Some plants have needle like leaves.

Some plants like cactus and palm are grown in desert in desert areas. In desert areas, there is very little water. Yet plants live and survive. Plants which grow in desert are called Xerophytes. The stems of these plants are green which make food for the plant. The stem also stores water. Most of the desert plants have no leaves.

In marshy places, the soil is clayey type. Plants like mangrove grow in the areas. Clay can hold lots of water and less air. Therefore, a few roots having pores come out of the soil.

AQUATIC PLANTS

There are many plants which grow in water. Those plants are called aquatic plants. They can be further categorized into three groups according to the water requirements and habitat. They are

a)    Submerged plants

b)   Floating plants

c)    Fixed plants.

Submerged plants:

These plants grow and remain under the water. Their leaves are very small and narrow having no stomata. These plants breathe through their body surface. Hydrilla and tape grass are examples of submerged plants.

Floating plants:

 They float on the surface of water. Duckweed and water hyacinth are the examples of floating plants. Their roots and stems have air spaces which are filled with air and their leaves have a wax coating.

Fixed plants:

These plants grow at a fixed place in the mud. Water lily and lotus are the examples of such plants. Their long and hollow stems help the leaves and flowers to float on the surface of water. They have flat and broad leaves.

INSECTIVOROUS PLANTS

Some plants like Venus flytrap, sundew and pitcher plant eat insects. Such types of plants are called insectivorous plants. These plants make their food themselves by photosynthesis but fulfill their needs of protein by trapping insects.

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