Plant anatomy, or phytotomy, has opened our eyes to the glories of the natural world. Every part of the plant, including the roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, petals, sepals, fruits, and seeds, has a purpose. A plant’s root system is extremely important in a variety of ways. Roots take up water and minerals from the soil and use them to nourish the plant while firmly reinforcing it to the ground. Plants’ root systems are classified into two groups. Fibrous roots and Taproots are the two types of roots. Adventitious Roots, Prop Roots, and Stilt Roots are 3 kinds of fibrous root modification. Intricate, thin, branching roots emerge from the stem to produce a Fibrous Root. Monocots/monocotyledons, plants whose seeds are made up of only one embryonic leaf, have a fibrous root structure. The fibrous root system does not go much directly into the ground, however, some of the roots are completely vertical and create deep supporting roots. By clinging to the topmost layer of the soil, the plant is effective in reducing the incidence of erosion. The fibrous root system is discussed in this article, along with 15 examples of fibrous roots. Let’s get started. But first, let’s take a closer look at what a fibrous root system is.
What Are Fibrous Roots?
Fibrous roots are a cluster of thin, nearly equal-diameter roots. Fibrous roots, unlike taproots, do not have a central root; instead, the entire system develops from the stem’s base. Here are some interesting facts regarding fibrous roots:
- Monocots and ferns are the only plants that have this root structure.
- The fibrous roots are small and take up a minimal amount of space.
- These fibrous roots are relatively poor in fixing the plant in the ground, and most of them are easy to uproot.
- Fibrous roots generally form after the primary root, also known as radicle, falls off.
- Fibrous roots develop shallow and primarily horizontally into the soil.
- Usually, roots in a fibrous system have almost the same size unless they’ve been changed for storage, and they all grow from the same area.
- This root system shows as a mat beneath the plant is fully mature plants.
- Fibrous roots, rather than taproots, are superior at preventing soil erosion because they effectively keep the surface soil together.
- Due to the existence of adventitious roots, the fibrous root system is also known as an adventitious root system.
- The fibrous root system starts as a tap root from the root tips, but the radicle deviants as the plant grow, and no main root is visible.
- The roots grow horizontally in all areas, with more than 95 percent of the root system located in the top 50 meters of the soil.
- The fibrous root, unlike tap root, lacks a primary root and roots that are not split into secondary and tertiary roots.
- Rather, a vast number of roots emerge from the stem and spread out in all directions.
- Because fibrous roots do not dig deep into the soil and instead depend on the surface soil and organic debris, they are classified as surface feeders.
- In addition, unlike certain plants with the taproot system, the fibrous root lacks function as a food store organ.
- The fibrous root is believed vital for the suppression of soil erosion since they are more attached to the surface of the soil and retain the surface soil firmly.
- Furthermore, they are more efficient at absorbing nutrients than the taproot system.
- These roots, on the other hand, may not be able to endure dryness because they have a smaller surface area and do not develop vertically deeply enough. The roots that are there are also noticeably shorter.
- In human evolution, the fibrous root system is thought to have developed well before the taproot system.
- Leaves with parallel venation are common in plants having fibrous root systems.
- Grasses, rice, corn, wheat, coconut, rosemary, etc. are some of the well-known examples of the fibrous root system.
Modifications of Fibrous Roots
Fleshy Fibrous Roots
These developed fibrous roots are fleshy from storing nourishment for upcoming use by the plant, as the name of this root suggests. Their cells have been adapted to store photosynthetic products and typically grow as more food is stored in them. Tuberous, fasciculated, and annulated roots are the three types of fleshy fibrous roots. Tuberous roots, like sweet potatoes, grow individually with no specific shape, but fasciculated roots, like dahlia and asparagus, grow in bunches. In contrast, annulated roots, such as those found in ipecac, have a ring-like structure, resembling discs stacked on top of each other across the surface.
These roots are small and thick, and they originate mostly on the basal node of the stem. They spread obliquely toward the soil, eventually developing fibrous roots. Stilt roots form to provide support to plants with narrow stems as they grow to enormous heights.
They take the form of big horizontal branches that provide additional support to plants. The banyan tree is a great example of prop roots. Prop roots are bigger in diameter and develop taller in the stem, unlike stilt roots.
15 Plants with Fibrous Roots
1. Banyan Tree
A banyan tree is a well-known tree that spreads horizontally and develops to be a massive plant. It cannot thrive on a single root system due to its enormous size. As a result, many root-like structures emerge from the stem to sustain the plant. It shoots vertically downwards, forming a pillar that penetrates and into the soil, encouraging the growth of a banyan tree.
Do You Know?
The banyan tree is India’s national tree and is recognized as a sacred tree. Another exciting fact about the Banyan tree is that it can survive for over 1000 years in optimal conditions. They are immortal in every sense of the word.
Yes, you read that correctly: the sugarcane plant possesses fibrous roots as well. They have stilt roots that emerge from the soil’s basal nodes. The stem’s roots extend down into the soil, providing additional support for the plant. These roots usually sprout from very few inferior nodes near the soil. When sugar cane trees reach a certain height, they develop several types of fibrous roots. Stilt roots provide additional support to a thin stem for it to live and flourish. The temperature range for sugarcane crop production is 27 degrees Celsius. For optimal yield, rainfall of 100 cm to 175 cm is required. Sugarcane grows best in black soil type.
3. Sweet Potato
Fibrous roots transform into tuberous fully fleshed adventitious roots in the sweet potato plant. Every root develops and expands independently in order to store food. Do you have any idea where sweet potatoes originated? It is thought to have originated in Central or South America. Later on, it spreads to other parts of the globe.
The fibrous roots of the asparagus plant are transformed into fleshy adventitious roots that develop in groups. They are tuberous roots that grow thick in clusters. They store starch as a food source. They grow in clusters near the stem’s base. Asparagus roots are not very deep roots that grow firmly into the soil.
Screwpine or Pandanus contains stilt roots that emerge from the lower nodes towards the soil, similar to sugarcane. They possess a tall stalk and a slender stem. These forms of roots benefit plants such as the screw pine, which has grown to a considerable height, by providing additional support. Screw pine is mostly found around the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans’ coastlines and is grown for its tropical fruit.
Dahlia is a species having a tuberous root structure that thickens as a result of starch storage for food. They grow in clusters near the stem’s base. It possesses a mutation in its fibrous roots that causes the starch to be stored in clusters in the roots. Dahlia comprises 35 distinct species and is indigenous to Mexico and Central America.
7. Maize (Zea mays)
Maize contains stilt roots that emerge from the distal nodes close to the soil, same as sugarcane and screw pine. They are also tall plants with slender stems, so the roots are crucial in providing additional support. These sorts of roots aid plants by providing them with the additional support they need to stand solid. Corn is the most common name for it, and it may be found throughout the world. Maize is a plant that grows naturally in countries like Australia, Canada, and the United States.
The branches and roots of the grass are thin and possess thread-like structures that provide it the appearance of fibrous roots. Grassroots are fibrous and do not reach far into the soil. Generally, grassroots are also known as surface feeders as they stay near the soil surface. We all know that grasses are found almost anywhere and everywhere in the world. The family of grass possesses almost 1200 species of it around the world.
Fibrous roots can also be found in orchids or orchid bushes. Such as the palm of a human hand, these roots appear thick and fleshy. They, too, have finger-like nodules as a result of their alteration. Southern Central America and northwest South America are the primary habitats of orchids in the world.
10. Basella & Portulaca
Basella, a spinach-like nutritious plant common in India, has roots that swell at periodic intervals like beads on a necklace. It is widely distributed in Central and Western Asia. The portulaca flower is a lovely summer bloom. The roots of these plants are of fibrous type.
11. Money Plant (Photos)
Yes, the popular money plant (Photos) possesses clinging roots. Climbers have non-absorptive adventitious roots which assist them in gaining support. Clinging roots invade the support’s fractures or crevices, facilitating the plant’s growth.
Onions feature a large number of small fibrous roots. The plant grows deep in the soil and has poor fluid intake capacity. You should hydrate your onions on a regular basis, particularly if the bulbs haven’t grown large enough. Onions, on the other hand, recover quickly during a drought season as a result of the fibrous roots.
Banana plants are grown for their fruits, although they are mostly propagated by suckers that sprout from rhizomes. Hundreds of fibrous roots emerging from the rhizome provide support and nourishment to the entire system. Some bananas tend to create a mat formed by suckers, rhizomes, and fibrous roots as a whole.
The most widely consumed staple food known as wheat falls into this category of fibrous roots as well. Wheat is grown on a wider scale than just about any other cereal crop. In wheat, there are two kinds of root systems. A nodal (adventitious) root system and a seminal (seeds) root system.
Weed eradication is tough with fibrous roots since it is hard to eliminate undesirable plants without completely excavating out the root system. Weeds are distinguished into two types: broadleaf and grassy. Some well-known examples of broadleaf weeds are prickly ash, purple loosestrife, chickory, poison sumac, and stinging nettle. These plants possess a fibrous root system. Whereas, bristly foxtail, barnyard grass, foxtail barley, wild oats, crabgrass, downy broke, goosegrass, and timothy are examples of grassy weeds that have fibrous roots.