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Question Video: Describing Vascular Plants Science

Plants can be classified depending on whether they have clearly defined leaves, roots, and stems or not. Which of the following plants does not have clearly defined leaves, roots, or stems? [A] Rosebush [B] Mint plant [C] Moss [D] Mango tree

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Video Transcript

Plants can be classified depending on whether they have clearly defined leaves, roots, and stems or not. Which of the following plants does not have clearly defined leaves, roots, or stems? (A) Rosebush, (B) mint plant, (C) moss, or (D) mango tree.

This question is asking about some features of plants: leaves, roots, and stems. So let’s review some key facts about plants and how they can be classified.

A plant is a multicellular organism that can make its own food by a process called photosynthesis. “Multicellular” means it is made up of more than one cell, multi- meaning many. Now we have reminded ourselves of what a plant is, what about the structures mentioned in the question?

Starting at the bottom of the plant, roots are the part of a plant that are usually found underground. They anchor the plant in the ground and absorb water and minerals from the ground. Plants also use their roots to store food, for example, yams and potatoes. Stems are a part of a plant’s shoot system, and they provide structural support to the plant, usually keeping the plant upright above the ground. Some plants, like trees and bushes, have specialized woody stems, which are stronger and can provide more support to the plant. Leaves tend to be green because all plants have cells which contain chloroplasts.

The chloroplasts contain chlorophyll, which is a green pigment that absorbs sunlight energy for photosynthesis. Photo- means light, and synthesis means to make. So they use light to make their own food. But what happens to all this food made in the leaves and how does some of it get to the roots to be stored for later?

In some types of plants called vascular plants, there is a system of transport vessels, which are tubelike structures. One type of vessel carries the food made in the leaves to wherever it is needed in the plant. Vascular plants also have another type of vessel to carry water and minerals. The water is carried from the roots, where it is absorbed, to the leaves, where some of it is used in photosynthesis.

Nonvascular plants do not have vessels and do not grow as tall as vascular plants, because it is harder to get the food and water around the plant. Because they do not have vessels to carry water around the plant, they are more at risk of drying out. Nonvascular plants are therefore often aquatic or live in damp areas. Transport vessels are an important structure in leaves, roots, and stems. The lack of vessels means nonvascular plants do not have true leaves, roots, and stems.

Having reviewed some key facts about plant structure and classification, we can now return to the question. It asks for a plant which does not have clearly defined leaves, roots, or stems. We have already mentioned that trees and bushes have woody stems. So we can rule out options (A) and (D).

This leaves a mint plant and a moss. Mint plants are herbaceous plants with green stems and fresh-tasting leaves. So this is not the correct answer. Mosses are nonvascular plants growing close to the ground. They have green, flat structures resembling leaves, which absorb water and nutrients. These are attached to a central stalk, and they have hairlike structures, not roots, to anchor them in place. This means that mosses do not have true leaves, roots, or stems.

Therefore, the correct answer is (C). The plant that does not have clearly defined leaves, roots, or stems is the moss.

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