Woody plants are
hard with a thick, wood-like covering on their stems or trunk. The
are generally long lived. Examples of woody plants are
trees and shrubs. The major parts of a wood plant are the leaves,
branch, trunk, and roots. The leaves are an outgrowth of the stem and
can be thin, flat, needle or scale-like, and green
in color due to the presence of chlorophyll during the growing season.
Woody plants have cambium (the bark area) which is a substance that gives a tree support
so it can grow tall. Leaves provide the surface
area necessary for absorption of sunlight which begins the process of
A branch is a secondary wood
limb growing from the trunk of a plant. It helps transport materials
from the tree trunk to the leaves. The trunk is a massive primary stem
of a tree located between the roots and upper tree canopy. The trunk
provides upright support to trees and transports nutrients and water
from the roots to the leaves of a tree. The roots are usually not green
and are found beneath the soil and are greatly branched or netted in
appearance. Roots absorb water and minerals from the soil and anchor the
plant to the ground and store food materials.
Herbaceous plants or small flowers
are soft and green with little or no wood stems. These plants are
generally short lived. Examples include grasses, garden vegetables, and
small plants. Petals are usually brightly colored with distinctive colors and
are used mainly to attract insects for the purpose of cross pollination
(i.e., exchange of pollen from one flower to another). Although
most herbaceous plants are noted for their flowers, many trees also
The leaf has the same description as
that for wood plants with the exception of being needle-like or
scale-like in structure. The function of a leaf is the same as in wood
The stem is the structure between the
roots and the leaves, and may be woody or non-woody. The stem transports
water and minerals from rocks to other parts of the plant and provides
for the support of leaves.
The roots have the same description
and function as in wood plants.
- Discuss with students the
major plant parts and their functions. Make sure you emphasize
that leaves are used by plants to make their own
food from the Sun. Leaves are usually green and found on the outside
of the plant. However, leaves on some trees will fall, but new ones
A trunk and branches are only found on trees.
The woody tissue from the trunk helps support trees to grow large.
Branches help the trees find a place for the leaves to grow and
"feel" the sun.
Only stems are found on herbaceous plants.
They do not have the support to make the plant grow large.
Roots are hidden from view. They help the
plant to anchor itself into the ground. The main function is to get
nutrients from the soil and bring them to the leaves so the leaves can
make food for the plant.
A petal is part of a flower, which many
plants possess. However, it is used mainly as a way to attract insects
to help pollinate the seed.
- If you use the pdf version of the worksheet, go
over the poem with students. Clarify a woody plant versus a
herbaceous plant. Some students may make the connection that
large plants are woody and small are herbaceous.
Herby the herbaceous plant
and Woody the Tree,
Lived next to each other
and were happy as can be.
Herby wanted to talk to his friend
alas, Woody could not bend.
On the worksheet have students draw a line to
the correct part of the woody and herbaceous plant.
- You may also use the electronic flash version where the students
find the parts of the plants.
- These are answers to the html worksheet that you see on the next
1 and 6 are leaves; 3 is the trunk; 4 and 8 are roots; 2 are branches; 5
is a petal; and 7 is a stem.