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3.2.1: Organs and Organ Systems

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    Learning Objectives
    • Describe the types of organs and organ systems in plants.
    • Describe the function of roots.

    Plant tissues form organs (such as leaves, stems, or roots), each of which perform a specific set of functions. Together, organs often work to form organ systems. Vascular plants have two distinct organ systems: a shoot system, and a root system. The shoot system consists of two portions: the vegetative (non-reproductive) parts of the plant, such as the leaves and the stems, and the reproductive parts of the plant, which include flowers and fruits. The shoot system generally grows above ground, where it absorbs the light needed for photosynthesis. The root system, which anchors the plant into the ground, absorbs water and minerals, and serves as a storage site for food is usually underground. (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)) shows the organ systems of a typical plant.

    A dandelion plant with shoot and root system
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The shoot system of a plant consists of leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. The root system anchors the plant while absorbing water and minerals from the soil. The dandelion root system consists of a single, thick root that branches into smaller roots.


    Curated and authored by Kammy Algiers using 30.3 Roots from Biology 2e by OpenStax (licensed CC-BY). Access for free at

    This page titled 3.2.1: Organs and Organ Systems is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Melissa Ha, Maria Morrow, & Kammy Algiers (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .