What are the organs of a plant?

  • Plants are made up of organs, including roots, leaves, the stem and reproductive organs.

  • Each organ has its own functions.

  • Together, the organs of a plant allow it to carry out the seven processes of life.

A head gardener at a stately home explains the structure of a plant

Structure of a plant

Plants are made up of many cells.

Groups of similar cells work together in a tissue. Each tissue has its job to do. For example, dermal tissue covers the leaves, flowers, roots and stems of plants.

Dermal tissue has several functions, including preventing the plant from losing too much water.

Tissues work together in organs. Important plant organs include:

  • roots
  • leaves
  • the stem
  • reproductive organs, such as male and female sex organs in flowers.

The functions of plant organs

In plants, each organ has several jobs, or functions.

  • Roots keep a plant in the ground. They also take in water and nutrients from the soil.

  • Leaves absorb sunlight, and make food for the plant by photosynthesis. The waste product of photosynthesis, oxygen, escapes through tiny holes in the leaves.

  • The stem supports the leaves and flowers. It also transports water and nutrients between the roots and the leaves.

  • Reproductive organs allow a plant to produce new plants.

Together, the organs of a plant allow it to carry out the seven processes of life.

Life processes

All living organisms carry out these seven processes. The phrase MRS GREN is one way to remember them:

  • Movement - all living things move, even plants

  • Respiration - getting energy from food

  • Sensitivity - detecting changes in the surroundings

  • Growth - all living things grow

  • Reproduction - making more living things of the same type

  • Excretion - getting rid of waste

  • Nutrition - taking in and using food

Adaptations

Every plant organ is adapted to its function. For example, leaves that are big and flat absorb plenty of sunlight for photosynthesis. Long roots keep a tree stable and take water from deep in the soil.

Some plants have unusual adaptations. For example a potato is a swollen underground stem. It fills up with starch in the summer, and stays alive in the soil in winter. In spring, the potato plant uses the stored starch to grow and make new leaves.

Plants for food

All the food we eat comes originally from plants, so understanding how plants grow and reproduce is vital to human life.

Farmers know how to get crops to produce as much food as possible. Agricultural scientists investigate new varieties of food crops, and how to prevent insects and other pests from damaging crops.

Activity - organs of a plant

Plant organs quiz

Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.

Where next?

Discover more about this topic from around Bitesize.

How to make a model plant cell
What is cellulose?
What is photosynthesis?