Capillary action is the rise of water through a tube with the assistance of cohesive
and adhesive forces. We see plants everywhere, inside and outside. We usually don’t think
about the complexity of how they work. Plants wouldn’t be able to survive without the forces
of cohesion, adhesion, and transpiration. Since they don’t physically drink water, plants
have root systems that bring water from the ground to it’s cells, leaves, and the flowers.
Water flow through plants is important for several reasons. Cytoplasm, found in the
plant’s cells, is made of 80% H2O. Most chemical reactions that happen within the cell
happen in the cytoplasm. Water filled cells also help give the plant support. Without water
the plant wouldn’t be able to complete photosynthesis. Water is needed to transport
mineral nutrients through the plant. Water is also needed so that the plant can transpire.
Tiny hairs at the end on the roots of plants absorb water from the ground. These tiny
hairs are fragile structures and can be damaged extremely easily. They are constantly
replaced at a rate of about 100 million per day. The hairs are sticky so they tightly attach
themselves to the soil around them. These hairs are important because they greatly
increase the surface area of the roots allowing for more water to enter the plant.
From the root hairs, water is sent into the roots. In plants with a taproot root system,
water is transported from the root hairs to the roots. In these kind of plants, there is one
main root called the “taproot”. The taproot is the first root to form off of the germinated
seed. Several other roots branch off of the taproot. These roots called “branch roots”
receive most of the water for the plant. Plants with taproot systems include dandelions,
carrots, beets, and most trees. Plants with a taproot system have the advantage of being ...