Summary

  • Flowering plants exhibit enormous variation in shape, size, structure, mode of nutrition, life span, habit and habitat. They have well developed root and shoot systems.
  • Root system is either tap root or fibrous.
  • Dicotyledonous plants have tap roots while monocotyledonous plants have fibrous roots.
  • The roots in some plants get modified for storage of food, mechanical support and respiration.
  • The shoot system is differentiated into stem, leaves, flowers and fruits. The morphological features of stems like the presence of nodes and internodes, multicellular hair and positively phototropic nature help to differentiate the stems from roots.
  • Stems also get modified to perform diverse functions such as storage of food, vegetative propagation and protection under different conditions.
  • Leaf is a lateral outgrowth of stem developed exogeneously at the node. These are green in colour to perform the function of photosynthesis. Leaves exhibit marked variations in their shape, size, margin, apex and extent of incisions of leaf blade (lamina).
  • The leaves also get modified into other structures such as tendrils, spines for climbing and protection respectively.
  • The flower is a modified shoot, meant for sexual reproduction. The flowers are arranged in different types of inflorescences. They exhibit enormous variation in structure, symmetry, position of ovary in relation to other parts, arrangement of petals, sepals, ovules etc.
  • After fertilisation, the ovary is converted into fruits and ovules into seeds. Seeds either may be monocotyledonous or dicotyledonous. They vary in shape, size and period of viability.
  • The floral characteristics form the basis of classification and identification of flowering plants. This can be illustrated through semi-technical descriptions of families.
  • The floral features are represented in the summarised form as floral diagrams and floral formula.

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