Food Storage in Roots

Food Storage in Roots


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Food Storage in Roots

Many plants store food in their roots. Perennial plants in temperate climates must store enough food over the winter to have the energy they need to sprout in the spring. Because of this food-storage function, many types of roots are filled with nutrients, starches, and sugars.

We take advantage of this storage capacity when we grow and consume root crops. Beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes are some of the roots—stored food—we enjoy. (Some of us wish we could store our excess stored food out of sight!)

parsnips, carrots, onions, turnips,
and potatoes are all root crops

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Tenacious Taproots
We gardeners enjoy some kinds of taproots, such as carrots and parsnips, but we may curse other types. Ever wonder why dandelions are so difficult to control? As you probably know from experience, dandelions have deep taproots, making them difficult to pull up. And if you don’t get the entire root, any remaining root fragments will give rise to another whole plant! The taproots also act as storage. You can break off the top of a dandelion numerous times, and it will continue to resprout using the food reserves in its large taproot.


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