Plants living on Land

Plants that grow on land are called terrestrial plants. There are various kinds of terrestrial plants depending on different habitats.

Plants of cold hilly areas: It is very cold in winter in hilly places like Ooty, Kashmir, Darjeeling and the Himalayan ranges including Himachal Pradesh. There is snowfall in some areas.  The trees that grow here have to survive the cold and snowfall. Instead of flowers they have cones and are called conifers. The cones have seeds in them. Conifers have needle-like leaves which are very tough and can survive the cold and snow. The sloping shape of the trees makes the snow fall off easily.

The main plants of these areas are pine, spruce, cedar (deodar) and fir trees. These trees have straight and tall trunks and needle like leaves. They are called coniferous trees. These trees keep their leaves green all throughout the year and so they are called evergreen trees. The spruce trees are used as Christmas trees.  

Oak, maple, birch and beech trees shed their leaves in winter to protect themselves from the cold. New leaves grow in spring. They are called deciduous trees.

Plants of the plains: The trees and plants of the plains mostly have many branches and numberless leaves. The leaves are renewed periodically. Teak, babul, shisham, palash, etc. are some of the common trees of the plains.

Plants of hot and damp areas: Many kinds of plants grow best where it is hot and wet. Palm, tamarind, rubber and coconut are some of the trees that grow well in this type of climate. Eastern and western sea-coasts of south-India are such regions. The trees of such areas are evergreen and they usually have a large number of leaves and they do not shed their leaves in winter.

Plants of marshy land: Places that have clayey soil and plenty of water and the water cannot drain away so it collects in the soil. Mangrove trees grow in such marshy places or swamps. Roots of the plants in marshy lands have breathing roots that grow above the ground to take in the air they need instead of under the soil. Such roots are called aerial or breathing roots.

There are some unusual and strange kinds of plants which trap and eat insects. Venus fly trap plant is a marshy land plant.

Plants of the grass family: Some common varieties of plants that belong to the grass-family are rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, sugarcane, bamboo etc.. The plants of this family provide food for us and animals.

Plants in deserts: The ground in deserts is dry. There is very little water as it rains very rarely. Yet plants live and survive. Their roots are adapted to get whatever water is available. Plants like cactus of many kinds have roots that are spread far out just under the surface of the soil. They can quickly catch even the smallest amount of water. The mesquite bush has roots that go down 20 meters in search of water.

Desert plants normally have small leaves. The leaves of cactus are like sharp spines. This prevents loss of water from the leaves. The cactus plant stores food and water in its thick and fleshy stems covered with thorns. When there is no rain the cactus uses the water in its stem. Cactus grows flowers too.

Fourth Grade

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