Four Main Parts of a Plant

Knowing a little bit about botany and how plants are constructed and thus live and thrive can be a big help when designing your garden. For instance, learning about how flowers participate in pollination and knowing that leaves soak up the sun to give the plant energy can guide you on plant placement. Each part of the plant--the roots, leaves, stems and flowers--has a crucial role.


A plant's roots begin growing as soon as a seed germinates. They have several functions: they anchor the plant to the ground, they help the plant get water and nutrients from the soil and they often are where a plant stores food. Plants have either a tap root system, where one central root grows vertically down into the ground, or an adventitious root system, where a system of lateral roots and branches form.


A plant's stems connect the leaves and flowers to the roots. They support the leaves, flowers and fruit and act as a conduit for water and nutrients between the plant's roots and leaves.


The flowers of a plant are designed for more than just to look pretty. They have a major role in the plant's reproduction. Flowers hold the pollen that bees and insects (pollinators) collect and distribute to nearby plants, ensuring the plant's regeneration. The plant's color and fragrance are designed to attract pollinators, not man.


Leaves, the parts of the plant that extend from the stem beneath the flowers, soak up the sunlight and participate in photosynthesis, the process of turning energy into nutrients. Leaves vary greatly from plant to plant, but are generally broad and flat to allow as much sunlight as possible to reach the plant.

Keywords: parts of a plant, plant root function, plant stem function

About this Author

Sandy Mitchell is an Ohio-based writer, blogger and editor. She writes for "The Better Drink" and other online publications. Before devoting herself full-time to writing, Mitchell was a travel agent and cruise school instructor for 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Bowling Green State University.