Taproots: Drill Deep!

Another way to get water is to send down a thick, deep root called a taproot. These taproots can be much larger than the visible part of the plant. In fact, some alpine tundra plants can have taproots 4, 6, or even 10 feet deep!

In addition to getting water, a plant can use its taproot to store energy that it produces during the short growing season for later use.

True to its name, the Big-rooted Springbeauty has a truly impressive taproot. Although the plant is no more than a few inches tall, it sends down its taproot as deep as ten feet or more! (Can any of you sharp-eyed botanists see the camouflaged bug? (Click here for a close-up!)

 

The Pygmy Bitteroot also stores nutrients and probes for water using a taproot. Can you guess how small this flowering plant is? (Click here to see!)

Next: Water Lovers!