Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

The Anatomy of a Pea Plant

...
sweet pea seed pod image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

At their most basic, most plants possess roots, stems and leaves, and most produce flowers as well. The pea plant is no exception -- it too has all of those structures -- but distinctive anatomical traits not only help the plant to compete and survive but settle it in an important economical niche.

Roots

Plant roots, including the roots of pea plants, consist of special tissues that help them to grow rapidly and absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Root hairs increase the surface area available for absorption. Because pea plants are legumes, their roots also contain special structures called nodules. Nodules form when pea plant roots form relationships with soil bacteria called rhizobia. The rhizobia produce nitrogen for the plant -- one of the essential nutrients plants need -- and the plant rewards them with sugar for energy.

  • At their most basic, most plants possess roots, stems and leaves, and most produce flowers as well.
  • Plant roots, including the roots of pea plants, consist of special tissues that help them to grow rapidly and absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

Stems

Stems provide support for the plant but also present the disadvantage of distance: Plants must find a way to transport water and nutrients from the roots and sugars synthesized in the leaves to other parts of the plant. Pea plant stems contain tissues called xylem and phloem for that purpose. Xylem cells form early in the plant's life as long tubes that harden and die as the plant ages, contributing structure to the plant as well as a way to transport water from the roots. Phloem cells move water but also sugars produced in the leaves, distributing them throughout the plant.

Leaves

Leaves are the powerhouse of the pea plant, absorbing sunlight and converting it into energy that the plant will use to produce flowers and fruit. Leaves contain a waxy cuticle that prevents water loss and tiny pores called stomata that act as gatekeepers, opening and closing to let gases in and out of the leaf. In the fleshy, middle cells of the leaf, the plant undertakes photosynthesis, producing sugar from sunlight.

  • Stems provide support for the plant but also present the disadvantage of distance: Plants must find a way to transport water and nutrients from the roots and sugars synthesized in the leaves to other parts of the plant.
  • Phloem cells move water but also sugars produced in the leaves, distributing them throughout the plant.

Tendrils

Pea plants also have special leaves called tendrils. Because the stems grow too long to support themselves, tendrils allow the plant to grow and extend upward. Pea plant tendrils are modified leaves, according to a handout available on the Bellevue College website. They wrap around fences, lattice or even other plants and allow the plant to climb.

Flowers

...
sweet pea image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

Legumes are one of the largest families of flowering plants, so pea plants produce flowers, which in turn develop into peas. Pea plants have five petals arranged in a distinct shape with a broad banner at the top and smaller wings and keels at the bottom. At the center of the flower, you will find the pistil and stamens, the female and male structures, and an ovary at the base, in which the plant produces seeds.

  • Pea plants also have special leaves called tendrils.
  • Because the stems grow too long to support themselves, tendrils allow the plant to grow and extend upward.

Related Articles

Anatomy of a Bean Plant
Anatomy of a Bean Plant
Corn Plant Life Cycle
Corn Plant Life Cycle
Garden Plants to Grow Together
Garden Plants to Grow Together
Six Basic Parts of a Plant
Six Basic Parts of a Plant
What Are Some of the Self Pollinating Vegetable Plants?
What Are Some of the Self Pollinating Vegetable Plants?
Does Frost Damage Pea Plants?
Does Frost Damage Pea Plants?
How Do Different Types of Liquid Affect Bean Plant Growth?
How Do Different Types of Liquid Affect Bean Plant...
Bugs That Eat Pea Plants
Bugs That Eat Pea Plants
The Parts of a Daisy Plant
The Parts of a Daisy Plant
How to Grow Peas in a Greenhouse
How to Grow Peas in a Greenhouse
Lotus Flower Growth
Lotus Flower Growth
What Is the Purpose of Flowers?
What Is the Purpose of Flowers?
Pea Plant Information
Pea Plant Information
Difference Between Water Plants and Land Plants
Difference Between Water Plants and Land Plants
What Eats the Leaves & Tomatoes on Plants?
What Eats the Leaves & Tomatoes on Plants?
Characteristics of a Flowering Plant
Characteristics of a Flowering Plant
Garden Guides
×