What Are the Functions of Plant Parts?

A fruit, ornamental flowering or vegetable plant in your garden provides food for humans, birds, insects and various animals. Each part of the plant has separate functions to ensure growth of a healthy plant system. The two basic groups of plant parts combine to produce or reproduce and protect the plant system along with providing nutrients. The two groups are the sexual parts and the vegetative parts.

Water Sources

A seed, bulb, corm or rhizome will begin to grow in hydrated soil and send out a root system. The root system is the main source of water that supplies the plant with hydrating moisture and a portion of needed nutrition from the soil. A healthy root system will grow down into the soil, giving an anchoring support for the new plant, which will prevent it from toppling over and keep it secured in place. Stems are a vascular support system that holds leaves, buds and flowers onto a plant. Stems carry nutrient and mineral-filled water up to the leaves.

Nutrient Source

Photosynthesis take place in the leaves of the vegetative parts of a plant. This process changes light energy absorbed from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide or chlorophyll into sucrose for the main food source of a plant. This process also provides oxygen that is released into the environment. A waxy coating called the cuticle protects each individual leaf and the veins that transport the life-supporting water and nutrients. The cuticle keeps the plant leaves from losing fluid.


The flower is the main source for reproduction. The male stamen with the anther and filament produces pollen. Pollen is distributed by wind, hummingbirds, insects and bees to the female pistil and travels down to the ovary. The colorful petals of the flower protect the pistil and stamen as it attracts the "nectar collectors" that take part in the pollination process. The female parts of the plant known as the pistil includes the stigma, style and ovary are at the base and center of each blossom. The ovary houses the egg which, when fertilized by pollen, produces seeds.The seed pod matures, swells, dries out and breaks open to distribute seeds to plant for new growth and plants.

Keywords: reproduction, pollination process, photosynthesis

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written ad copy and online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Chilldren's Literature course in 1988.