DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Roots of Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai', a variety of Fuji Cherry. Tree roots serve to anchor the plant and also to extract water and mineral nutrients from the soil. The structural, secondary, roots are thickened and lignified for strength. Absorption of water and nutrients is performed by primary roots, which appear during each growing season, and are not lignified. These develop fine root hairs on the surface of the youngest parts of the root, behind the tip. Root hairs present a large surface area to the soil, and are adapted to take water and minerals into the plant. The picture shows primary roots within the soil of a pot-grown specimen of P. incisa 'Kojo-no-mai'. One section of secondary root is visible ( to left, above centre, brown). The ( white ) primary roots can be seen to be developing large numbers of long fine root hairs ( very fine lines, white ).
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