Roots modified for vital functions

Roots modified for other vital functions:

a) Epiphytic roots:

These are adventitious roots found in certain orchids which grow as epiphytes on the branches of other trees. These epiphytes develop special types of aerial roots that hang freely in the air. These aerial roots hold a special sponge like tissue termed as velamen. Velamen aids in absorbing the atmospheric moisture and stores them as such plants do not have direct contact with the soil.

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 Figure: Epiphytic roots

b) Photosynthetic or assimilatory roots:

In several plants the adventitious roots become green and perform photosynthesis. These roots are termed as assimilatory or photosynthetic roots. The Tinospora roots occur as green hanging threads from the nodes of stem during rainy season. They assimilate CO2 in the presence of sunlight.

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 Figure: Photosynthetic root

c) Parasitic roots or haustoria: 

These roots are mainly found in non-green parasitic plants. Parasitic plants are those plants which can’t make their own food and they have to acquire its food from the host. Adventitious roots are given out from the nodes of such plants and these penetrate into the host tissue and enter into its conducting tissue. From conducting tissues of the host they get the needed food materials. Example: Cuscuta

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 Figure: Parasitic roots

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