Plants Definition and 9 Discussions

Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Historically, plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, and all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes (the archaea and bacteria). By one definition, plants form the clade Viridiplantae (Latin name for "green plants"), a group that includes the flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns and their allies, hornworts, liverworts, mosses, and the green algae, but excludes the red and brown algae.
Green plants obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts that are derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria. Their chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic or mycotrophic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize, but still have flowers, fruits, and seeds. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is also common.
There are about 320,000 species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, produce seeds. Green plants provide a substantial proportion of the world's molecular oxygen, and are the basis of most of Earth's ecosystems. Plants that produce grain, fruit, and vegetables also form basic human foods and have been domesticated for millennia. Plants have many cultural and other uses, as ornaments, building materials, writing material and, in great variety, they have been the source of medicines and psychoactive drugs. The scientific study of plants is known as botany, a branch of biology.

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  1. Steven Ellet

    Growing Potatos at Home

    I put a russet potato in a clear plastic container with a dish of water. It had sprouted potato tubers(I think that's the right term) but I waited too long... it now has roots and white fur. Is there a reasonable change I can still get a plant out of it, or should I just start over?
  2. Steven Ellet

    Speed up composting with mycorrhizal Fungi?

    I have successfully composted before,(for planting) but is there a way to speed it up, maybe with mycorrhizal? (I hope this is the right section) I live in a hot (35C-48 C or 95F-120F) dry environment and I know to keep it damp (not Dripping) and well mixed (add air)
  3. A

    My Project on the Effects Copper Sulfate on Plant Growth (thank you PF for your help)

    Hello, I'm Andrew and I'm in 12th grade. If you are interested, I would like to share a presentation showing the process, observations, results of an experiment showing the physical effects copper sulfate can have on early plant development. I, with much help from some intelligent members of...
  4. A

    Help with Copper and Zinc's Effects on a Plant Experiment

    Hi, I'm in 12th grade and for my senior project I wanted to do an experiment on the effects that copper and zinc have on mung beans. I have copper sulfate pentahyde and zinc sulfate monohydrate, which I had purchased because I have seen information on other similar experiments where these were...
  5. T

    Synthetic fibers (rope) that absorb water and shorten

    Hello. I have an engineering idea, an invention. I want to make a watering valve for plants that opens the water when the soil moisture content is too low. I am looking for a material that (1) would not rot, and (2) absorb water and contract at a significant rate to open a valve (millimeter...
  6. I

    Can plants memorize?

    From what I know, neurons are the only ones that create memories through long-term potentiation. Do plants have any equivalent process? Can they create a "repository of information"? I am guessing not. Other than genetically coded molecules that are reacting to the world outside and perhaps...
  7. Preston Feagan

    Looking to dissolve plant matter without affecting rubber.

    Hello! I'm having a bit of an issue here, and I came across this site while searching on how to dissolve plant matter. The thread I found had some ideas, but said a reason would be needed before any concrete advice could be given. So here's my request - I need to instantaneously dissolve plant...
  8. skepticwulf

    Do plants need direct sunlight?

    We all know the famous theory that an asteroid hits the Earth and kill the dinosaurs by starting a chain reaction where the dust is all over the atmosphere preventing sunlight to reach plants causing them eventually to die thus causing herbivorous to die thus causing carnivorous to die. But when...
  9. M

    Can anyone identify this cacti?

    What is the name of this cactus i have?