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LET'S EXPLORE The living world

How do plants live?

A variety of plantsA variety of plantsLike all living things, plants need energy and water to grow. They take in their energy not from food but from sunlight. They use this energy to make the food that they need to grow. Plants provide food for animals, including us humans. They help keep the air filled with oxygen for us to breathe. There are nearly 300,000 species (kinds) of plant. They come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny mosses to enormous trees. Plants are divided into two main kinds: the simpler types without flowers, and those that have flowers. The study of plants is called botany.

Parts of a flowering plantParts of a flowering plant

Parts of a plant

Like an animal’s body, a plant is made up of parts which have different jobs. The roots take in water, minerals and other vital nutrients from the soil in which the plant grows. The stiff stem holds the main parts of the plant above the ground. This is so that the leaves can catch as much sunlight as possible. 

Native to tropical Africa, the Raffia palm has the longest leaves of any plant. They are each more than 25 metres (82 ft) long.

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