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Encyclopedia > Tap root

A plant's taproot is a straight tapering root that grows vertically down. It forms a center from which other roots sprout.

Plants with taproots are difficult to transplant.

The taproot is why dandelions are hard to uproot — the top is pulled, but the long taproot stays in the ground, and re-sprouts.

A taproot system contrasts to a fibrous root system, with many branched roots.

Most trees begin life with a taproot, but after one to a few years change to a wide-spreading fibrous root system with mainly horizontal surface roots and only a few vertical, deep anchoring roots. A typical mature tree 30-50 m tall has a root system that extends horizontally in all directions as far as the tree is tall or more, but well over 95% of the roots are in the top 50 cm depth of soil.

Many taproots are modified to become storage organs.

Some plants with taproots:

Typical taproots

  • conical root : another word for taproot.
  • fusiform root : tapers at the top and at the bottom, e.g. the taproot of a white radish.
  • napiform root : is broader than it is long, e.g. the root of a turnip.

External links and references

  Results from FactBites:
AllRefer.com - root, in botany (Botany, General) - Encyclopedia (531 words)
root, in botany, the descending axis of a plant, as contrasted with the stem, the ascending axis.
In most plants the root is underground, but in epiphytes the roots grow in the air and in hydrophytes (e.g., cattails and water lilies) they grow in water or marshes.
In the center of the root the cells formed earlier by the embryonic cells of this layer differentiate into storage tissue and xylem and phloem vessels to conduct sap upward to the leaves and back down to nourish the root cells.
tap dance - encyclopedia article about tap dance. (2579 words)
Tap dance was born in the United States United States of America—also referred to as 'the United States', 'the US', 'the USA', 'America' (more loosely), 'the States' (colloquially), and 'Columbia' (poetically)—is a federal republic of 50 states, located primarily in central North America.
Tap flourished in the U.S. from 1900 to 1955, when it was the main performance dance of Vaudeville Vaudeville was a style of multi-act theater which flourished in North America from the 1880s through the 1920s.
During the 1930s tap dance mixed with Lindy Hop Lindy Hop is a street jazz dance that evolved in Harlem, Manhattan, New York in the late 1920s and early 1930s, that emerged with swing jazz.
  More results at FactBites »



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