Have you ever climbed a tree to pluck a fruit? Have you wondered how trees and plants are different from us? What do they eat and drink? Did you know even plants breathe like us?
Breathe! Do plants have noses? Sounds funny, right? Well, plants do not have a nose, yet they breathe. They breathe in the air we breathe out. Their leaves are their noses!
In fact they even “eat” through their noses, er… leaves. The leaves have a pigment called ‘chlorophyll’ (klo-re-fyl).
This not only gives the leaf its green colour, it also helps to absorb sunlight. The leaf then uses the sunlight, air and minerals to make food for the plant.
So where do the minerals come from then? The roots! Have you ever pulled out a plant? Those brown, muddy mazes of thread like extensions that come out from under are its roots.
The roots not only stick the plant into the ground, they also absorb water and minerals from the soil. Imagine how big the roots of the tree near your house must be!
Okay, so roots absorb the minerals. But the leaves are so far-away from the roots. How do the minerals reach them? Look at a plant and you’ll know. That brown or green pipe-like thing on which leaves and roots stick out is called a stem. This is what carries the minerals around.
So what’s the use of a flower? Flowers make the plant look pretty, don’t they?
But do you know if there were no flowers, there would be no plants either? Flowers help in creating new plants. Flowers turn into fruits and fruits contain seeds. The seeds when fall to the ground, give birth to new plants.
Without plants we would also not exist. Do you know why? We depend on plants for food. We eat their fruits (apple, tomatoes), stems (sugarcane, potatoes), leaves (spinach) and even roots (carrots). And more importantly – we depend on plants for the air we breathe in! You know that plants breathe in what we breathe out (carbon dioxide). Plants then breathe out what we breathe in (oxygen). They provide us our precious oxygen.
Awesome isn’t it? How even the grass you walk upon is so important for your life? Next time you pluck a fruit, remember how much the tree has done for you.