Botany for Gardeners: An Introduction and Guide by Brian Capon

By Brian Capon

A transparent, nontechnical clarification of the way vegetation paintings, and our bestselling e-book. It succeeds in explaining the complicated methods of plant development, capabilities, model, responses, and copy in basic language. because the writer meant, the gardener can come to appreciate a plant "from the plant's element of view."

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Additional resources for Botany for Gardeners: An Introduction and Guide

Sample text

Although the word vacuole means "empty space", it is a membranebound inner sac containing much of a cell's stored water and serves as a repository for excess mineral nutrients as well as toxic waste products from the cell's metabolism. Each cell is designed to function most of the time as an independent unit. Yet their metabolism and other activities are enhanced when groups of cells act in concert by the exchange of foods and other materials by way of inter-connecting stands of cytoplasm, called plasmodesmata (Greek: desmos, chain).

Water is initially absorbed by a process called imbibition in which water molecules fit into spaces between cellulose, proteins and other substances in the dry cell walls and protoplasm. As the cell components absorb more water, they soften and swell, comparable to what happens when dry gelatin granules are soaked in a drop of water; they too imbibe the liquid. When fully imbibed, most seeds will be about double their original volume. Since seed coats expand to a lesser degree than their contents, the coats split; thus allowing more rapid water uptake by the embryo and cotyledons and also giving them full access to oxygen in the soil atmosphere.

A few species simultaneously grow both root systems, others adopt one form or the other, depending on soil/water conditionsfibrous roots when the surface soil is moist, < previous page page_35 next page > < previous page page_36 next page > Page 36 A comparison of fibrous and tap root systems. tap roots when it becomes dry. Because a specific root system is inherited, it is often used as a distinguishing characteristic of a plant family. Food is stored in both root types, tap roots having the greater storage capacity since they enlarge in diameter as well as length.

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