All About Plants
Grow your plant knowledge
Find out what plants need - and why we need plants!
In this Nature Club session for primary school age children, our education officer Katie talks about plants, has an art challenge to test your knowledge and a game of leaf bingo to get you exploring!
Almost all living things on earth depend on plants for their survival. Plants capture and use the sun’s energy to grow, providing food for other living organisms, while absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen which humans and other animals need in order to breathe.
Plants also provide shelter for minibeasts, animals and birds, and are a source of valuable materials for a variety of uses, including medicines, paper, houses and clothes.
What are the four key parts of a plant?
Roots: These anchor the plant in the soil and suck up water and nutrients.
Stem: Transports water and nutrients to different parts of the plant and sugars down from the leaves.
Leaves: Use sunlight along with carbon dioxide from the air and water to make food for the plant. This process is called photosynthesis. Leaves are often adapted for this with a broad shape providing a big surface area for absorbing light. Veins in leaves deliver water and take away glucose.
Flowers: These are often colourful and have scent and nectar to attract bees and other insects which help to pollinate the plant and enable it to reproduce.
Plants have clever ways of dispersing their seeds so that they have a chance to land in the right place and can grow without too much competition from each other. Look out for plants which use:
- Wings: eg. sycamore
- Parachutes: eg. dandelions
- Explosions! eg. pods
- Tasty treats: eg. seeds in berries which are eaten and deposited in poo!
- Hooks: eg.burdock seeds have hooks which get caught on animal coats
- Heavy 'drop & roll' seeds: eg. horse chestnut tree conkers.