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Anatomical Features of Angiosperms

Angiosperms (flowering plants) are the largest Phylum in the Plant Kingdom (Angiospermophyta is also called Anthophyta or Magnoliophyta). These plants have true roots, stems, leaves and flowers. The roots grow into the soil to anchor the plant in place and take up water and nutrients. The leaves are above ground and act as the main organs for photosynthesis. Stems provide above ground support for the plant and operate as conduits to move nutrients and water throughout the plant. Flowers contain the male and female reproductive organs of the plant.

With these anatomical features in mind, do some research to find an angiosperm that has modified leaves, stems, roots or flowers that do not function in the normal manner, or that function in an unusual manner. Example: A California Barrel Cactus has spines in place of leaves to reduce water loss.

Explain how this structural modification helped the plant adapt to its environment. Make sure the plant you choose is an Angiosperm. For example, pine trees and mushrooms are not Angiosperms.

Compare and contrast your choice to other plants presented by students by responding to their posts, using "Reply to Message."

In your own words, please post a response to the Discussion Board and comment on other postings. Make sure to include references. You will be graded on the quality of your postings.

Solution Preview

The variety of forms found among angiosperms is greater than that of any other plant group. The size range alone is quite remarkable, from probably the smallest individual flowering plant, the watermeal (Wolffia; Arales), at less than 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) to one of the tallest angiosperms, Australia's mountain ash tree (Eucalyptus regnans; Myrtales) at about 100 meters (330 feet). Between these two extremes lie angiosperms of almost every size and shape. Examples of this variability include the succulent cacti (Cactaceae), the fragile orchids (Orchidales; see photograph), the baobab (Adansonia digitata; Malvales), vines, rosette plants such as dandelion (see photograph), and carnivorous plants such as sundews (Drosera; Nepenthales [see photograph]) and Venus's-flytrap (Dionaea muscipula; Nepenthales [see photograph]).

This essay will concentrate on the Venus's-flytrap. This amazing plant is a native to a small region in the Carolinas. Insects are trapped and digested by the plant to obtain nutrients; they are carnivorous plants. There are six small trigger hairs inside each trap. One hair touched twice, or two hairs touched once, signals the trap to snap shut. Empty traps reopen in a day or so. Traps with prey remain closed for a week or two. Then, the trap will reopen exposing the dry shell of the victim. These trigger hairs signal the trap to close when two hairs are touched once or one hair is touched twice. ...

Solution Summary

This solution points out that there exists a variety of forms found among angiosperms. It then goes in to a detailed discussion of the anatomical features of the Venus-flytrap. This solution is 910 words with two references.

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