Q:

How does water travel through plants?

A:

Water is transported inside plants by tube-like cells called xylem. The process relies on both osmotic pressure and capillary action.

Water is first absorbed by a plant's porous roots after rainfall and passes into the root xylem. Then, by way of osmotic pressure, the water is moved up the plant's stem or trunk. Also referred to as root pressure, osmotic pressure cannot move the water very high up the plant; about 20 feet at most. In a tall tree that would not be enough, so capillary action must take over at this point.

When water evaporates out of leaves, the void left behind causes the water in the xylem below to be pulled upwards. When combined with capillary action, these processes allow water to reach all parts of the plant.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of a raphide crystal?

    A:

    A raphide crystal occurs in plant cells, and its main function is to repel animals away from plants. The crystals are shaped like needles, and are formed from calcium oxalate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do seeds need to be dispersed?

    A:

    Seeds must be dispersed by plants so that offspring are not forced to compete with parent plants for resources. For gardeners and homeowners, it is important to disperse some seeds, such as grass seeds, uniformly to ensure that the resulting lawn looks even and contains no bare patches. A number of forces disperse seeds, including wind, water, animals and seed-spreading tools.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does osmosis occur in plants?

    A:

    Osmosis occurs in plants to keep them from wilting. Plant cells have rigid but fully permeable cell walls, and osmosis creates enough pressure against the cell wall to keep the cell turgid. Thus, plant cells can absorb water via osmosis without danger of bursting. Because plants do not have a skeletal system, the pressure created by osmosis is the only way the plant can maintain structure.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are leaves important to a plant?

    A:

    Leaves are important to plants because they provide nourishment or food for the plants. The food-making process is known as photosynthesis. In addition, young leaves keep the tips of growing stems moist by wrapping around them and protecting them from the elements.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore