The Parts of Plants Used for Getting Their Food

Plants create food by converting sunlight into energy by the process of photosynthesis. A plant must have water, carbon dioxide and sunlight in order to create food for its survival and fruit production. The three structures in plants that are important for creating and storing food are the leaves, stems and roots. Without the process of photosynthesis, many creatures and plants would cease to exist.


The roots of a plant gather food, store energy and provide structure support. Plant roots grow underneath the ground below the plant. A root provides structure by anchoring the plant and enables growth by absorbing water and nutrients. Roots also store carbohydrates and sugar that assist the plant in other functions as well. Plants have two different types of root systems: the taproot system, such as carrots, or the fibrous root system, such as turf grass.


A leaf is connected to the stem of a plant by the petiole. The leaf of a plant is protected by a waxy coating known as a cuticle. Inside the leaf are veins that carry the nutrients and water. Photosynthesis takes place inside the leaf where food is made by converting sunlight into energy. The components of carbon dioxide, chlorophyll and sunlight are changed into a sugary substance called glucose. Glucose is used as food by the plant.


The stem supports the leaves and buds of a plant and is the "transportation system" that brings up food, nutrients and water from the soil for the plant. A stem consists of three major parts: xylem, phloem and cambium. The xylem and the phloem are important for making up the plant's vascular system. The xylem's role is to conduct water and minerals and the phloem conducts the food. A plant's stem is found above the ground (common in most plants) while others are located below the ground, such as potatoes or bulbs.

Keywords: process of photosynthesis, plant stem role, plant root role, plant leaf role

About this Author

Ariana Cherry-Shearer began writing for the Web in 2006. Cherry-Shearer's work has appeared at websites such as GardenGuides, GolfLink and Trails. She also writes a weekly blog and has published collections of poetry. Cherry-Shearer earned a certificate in computer applications from Lakeland Community College.