Botanical Illustration: Exploring Root Variety

Story posted: Friday, 10. June 2016 by Lizzie Harper

As a botanical illustrator, spending time examining plants and their structures, I’m continually amazed by the variety of forms plants produce.  Take, if you will, the humble “root”.

A “root” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “The part of a plant which attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibres”.

However, the story does not stop there!  There are three main types of root; the fibrous root, the tap root, and the adventitious root.   This blog is a brief overview of these three types.

Fibrous roots

The fibrous root is formed from lots of little roots growing from the stem.  There isn’t one main root which branches; each of the little roots is of a similar size and importance.  Examples of plants with fibrous roots include ferns and monocots (so all the grasses, lilies, and onions).

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator Mat grass

Mat grass Nardus sctricta

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

Fibrous roots of the Wild Garlic Alium ursinum

Taproots

A taproot is a primary root which is thick, tapers, and mostly grows straight downwards.  It often bears smaller lateral roots (secondary roots) which in turn bear even smaller side roots (tertiary roots).  A notoriously successful plant which bears a tenacious and easy to see taproot is the Dandelion Taxacum officinale.

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

The tap root of the Dandelion Taxacum officinale is easy to see

Taproots can be round or napiform (as with a turnip), conical or conical (think of a carrot) or fusiform which means it is widest in its middle and tapers at either end.  They can also be tuberous which means the taproot is swollen and fleshy, and may have no distinct shape.

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

Turnip and Rutebega have napiform taproots

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

Carrots are the prime example of a conical taproot

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

The fusiform taproot of the radish; you can see some radishes have conical taproots instead.

Another adaptation of the taproot is the Pneumatophores or breathing roots which emerge vertically upwards from the silt of mangrove swamps to allow the mangrove trees (Rhizophora species) to get to the air for gas exchange.

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

Mangrove swamp with pnematophores protruding

Adventitious roots

Adventitious roots are roots which don’t grow from the main root axis; they don’t  grow downwards from the base of the plant stem and can grow from other areas  of the stem, or from the leaves.

These modifications help plants to reproduce vegetatively, to store nutrients or water, support themselves, or have more specific functions relating to the habitat a certain plant exploits (like epiphytic plants).

An example of a plant with adventitious roots helping a plant structurally is Ivy Hedera helix which has lots of tiny, clinging adventitious roots along its stem.  These help it hang onto vertical substrates like walls.

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

The adventitious roots can be seen on the stem on the left (copyright Royal Mail 2014)

Adventitious roots can be used to store food and water.  This can be seen in numerous plants, from the yam to the dahlia.

Lizzie harper botanical illustrator natural history illustration roots blog

Dahlia tuberous adventitious roots

For a more extensive blog on adventitious roots, see my blog.

I hope this overview has given some idea of the amazing variations of roots, and helps explain why when doing botanical illustrations you often need to see the whole of a plant, not just the parts showing above the soil.

On another topic entirely, I'm afraid I've had to turn off the "comments" button on my blogs due to spamming.  If you would like to give any comments or feedback, please do so on my Facebook page or Twitter account or email me at lizzieharper@tinyworld.co.uk.  Many many thanks; and apologies.

 

 

Category:  Biological terminology   |   Comments:  4   |   Viewed:  4297

Go back to the list of news stories

Write a comment:

Your name: Required (shown)


Email address: Required (not shown)


We need to know you're a real person:

Please enter the letters in the image below into the space provided:

Captcha Image
Required

Title: Required

Your comment: Required




Comments:

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader

Wednesday, 11. January 2017, 07:02:17 – Bypechollacop:

Fri, Oct 28th Wes Bentley 5. Lady Gaga's Carpool Karaoke Performance *Might* Just Rival Adele's Chris Kyle - American Sniper [url=http://0208171.com/file/3319469908]3319469908[/url] [url=http://enonhaber.net/index.php/2017/01/04/dwt0d6a/]Read More[/url] [url=http://ks9933.com/torrent_details/17657962/Shojyo-Koakuma-Kei-The-Writhing-Women-%E5%B0%91%E5%A5%B3%E5%B0%8F%E6%82%AA%E9%AD%94%E7%B3%BB-%E8%A0%A2%E3%81%8F%E5%A5%B3%E3%81%9F%E3%81%A1]Shojyo Koakuma Kei - The Writhing Women 少女小悪魔系 -蠢く女たち-[/url] [url=http://kxyqm.com/adom-ancient-domains-of-mystery.html]ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)[/url] Play Movie Poco's Udon World episode 4 Симуляторы Xpand Rally Xtreme отличается от своих коллег по аркадным гонкам намеком на реализм. Во-первых, тут есть весьма неплохой режим гоночного симулятора, который хоть и не отражает полностью настоящей жизни, но вполне подойдет любителю аркад. Во-вторых, даже в аркадном режиме есть намеки на реалистичную механику,... Раздают: 19 Качают: 4 Размер: 1.4GB [url=http://dlweihuafz.com/torrent/5915938/garageband-10-1-for-mac-osx.html]GarageBand 10 1 for MAC-OSx[/url] NCIS: New Orleans Seas. 3 Ep. 4 (3x4)2016-10-18 Free Episode Download Read More Download Now Российские сериалы Многие телезрители уже успели соскучиться по любимым киногероям Светофора. Поэтому спешим вас обрадовать - все главные персонажи Сева, Паша и Эдик вновь будут удивлять безумными приключениями, которые относятся к разряду нарочно не придумаешь. Это своего рода продолжение истории Светофора... Раздают: 3 Качают: 1 Размер: 3.49GB A. Michael Baldwin Kilo Two Bravo Watch This Link! [url=http://pshjh.com/hunter-x-hunter-s01e31-hdtv-720p-free-download/]Hunter x Hunter S01E31 HDTV [720p] Free Download[/url] [url=http://99334045.com/romie-o-and-julie-8-movie]Romie-O And Julie-8 (Movie)[/url]


The Cleveland Show

Thursday, 12. January 2017, 07:17:55 – Bypechollacop:

Summer Wars Free Episode Download Download Torrent Grid Autosport [url=http://psxhf.com/torrent/1662641992/Arsenal+2017+HDRip+XViD-ETRG]Arsenal 2017 HDRip XViD-ETRG[/url] [url=http://ct-qq.com/2016/11/oscuras-intenciones-dont-wake-mommy-2015-online.html]Oscuras Intenciones (Don’t Wake Mommy) (2015) online[/url] [url=http://xn--est8ov5g.com/search/detail/3/0/MthZ9tZo4.html]亚欧(0)[/url] [url=http://0208165.com/torrent/1662641583/1Pondo-010617+460-HD]1Pondo-010617_460-HD[/url] [url=http://v2128.com/torrent/1662645390/joymii+17+01+07+jane+taste+of+love+360p+mp4]joymii 17 01 07 jane taste of love 360p mp4[/url] Samurai Jack 2016 Major crimes Season 3 Full Episode [url=http://caopron123.net/movies/doctor-strange-2016-new-hd-cam/torrents/]Download[/url] _Naruto_-_062 Tutoriais Comments: 0 Soundtracks ADSR Sounds - Mastering EDM Masterclass Mastering Trap 2016 TUTORiAL The walking dead s07e01 720p hdtv x264-NBY (1) mkv [url=http://hk9777.com/peliculas/una-navidad-en-apuros-2014-43965/]Una Navidad en Apuros (2014)[/url] [url=http://ks8333.com/torrent_details/17654933/Doraemon-%E3%83%89%E3%83%A9%E3%81%88%E3%82%82%E3%82%93-2005-OP-Twelve-Girls-Band-%E5%A5%B3%E5%AD%90%E5%8D%81%E4%BA%8C%E6%A5%BD%E5%9D%8A-Doraemon-no-Uta-%E3%83%89%E3%83%A9%E3%81%88%E3%82%82%E3%82%93%E3%81%AE%E3%81%86%E3%81%9F]Doraemon (ドラえもん) (2005) OP - Twelve Girls Band (女子十二楽坊) - Doraemon no Uta (ドラえもんのうた)[/url]


Madison Wolfe

Friday, 13. January 2017, 13:48:37 – Bypechollacop:

Conan (2010) Blood Father Others Elvis & Nixon nksharma128 [url=http://xn--5br870b.com/torrent/1662642370/Elvis+E+Nixon+2016+iTALiAN+AC3+BRRip+XviD-T4P3+avi]Elvis E Nixon 2016 iTALiAN AC3 BRRip XviD-T4P3 avi[/url] [url=http://gipaafk.net/torrent/1662645501/%D0%A4%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%B5%D1%80+%D0%A1+%2C+%D0%A4%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B3%D1%8E%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%BD+%D0%94+-+%D0%93%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%B4%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B0+%D0%93%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B1%D1%8B+-+%D0%A1%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8B+-+%D0%A4%D0%B8%D0%B3%D1%83%D1%80%D1%8B+-+2009+djvu]Фрайер РЎ , Фергюсон Р” - Геральдика Гербы - Р...[/url] Rebirth Of Mothra ... Rod Stewart - Another Country (Deluxe Edition) (2015) Die Hard 2 [url=http://pshkx.com/torrents/life-after-beth-2014-720p-bluray-g2g-ti8771731.html]Life After Beth (2014) 720p BluRay [G2G][/url] Mia Wasikowska Kanye West ft DJ Khaled - Way Too Cold (Explicit) 2012 Bleach: The Sealed Sword Frenzy Animation зЈЃеЉ›й“ѕжЋҐ Free Episode Download Fucking Hungarian Babe [url=http://pszhs.com/tag/la-doncella-kickasstorrent/]La doncella kickasstorrent[/url] [url=http://xn--qq3awf.com/torrent/1662644372/Keeping+Up+With+The+Joneses+2016+REPACK+BDRip+x264-DRONES%5BPRiME%5D]Keeping Up With The Joneses 2016 REPACK BDRip x264-DRONES[PRiME][/url]


real estate wordpress theme rtl

Thursday, 16. February 2017, 11:54:30 – AyLeoFar:

this is the most apropriate place to publish my article. So if it's a mistake then delete this article - News » Botanical Illustration: Exploring Root Variety – Lizzie Harper Illustration ¦ Botanical Illustration & Scientific Illustration by Lizzie Harper. Walk through the steps you need to build your very own WordPress theme! Included with the book is a WordPress theme and other necessary files, so roll up your sleeves and let Joe take you through the process explaining what you need to do - and why you're doing it - every step of the way. [url=https://themeforest.net/item/luster-the-biggest-real-estate-wordpress-theme/9719682?ref=AyLeo]real estate wordpress themes best [/url]This book isn’t designed for web development beginners but it is targeted toward those who aren’t so familiar with using WordPress. So, it makes some assumptions about your skill level: you know HTML and CSS already — you just need a friendly hand to point you in the right direction with WordPress. The Luster wordpress real estate mls is a brilliant, because it have the best design in the Real Estate category. Each page was designed with love. The wordpress real estate landing page is fully responsive and works on all devices, such as mobile, tablet or PC. The wordpress real estate themes code is SEO ready and WC3 valid. With luster you can build an unique web site, because wordpress real estate agent website templates have 5 different Blog archive designs, 5 different Gallery archive designs, 6+ different Home pages design, lots of custom templates for About, Services, Contacts and other pages. Wordpress real estate agent theme free. [url=https://themeforest.net/item/luster-the-biggest-real-estate-wordpress-theme/9719682?ref=AyLeo]wordpress theme options [/url]Luster Classic is an example with a left side menu, real estate wordpress theme download. This demo is a perfect solution for classic properties website. Real estate wordpress themes 2017 year. Check - real estate wp theme [url=https://themeforest.net/item/luster-the-biggest-real-estate-wordpress-theme/9719682?ref=AyLeo]real estate wp theme free[/url]