Dandelion and grass represent the two main kinds of root systems, taproot system and fibrous root systems. The dandelion has a tap root system, which consists of a taproot that grows straight down and rootlets branching from the taproot. The grass has a fibrous root system, which consists of a main root that is not easily identified because it is small and all the many roots branching from it in all directions form a tangled mass that hides the main root.
Note: Before doing this experiment, obtain permission to dig up the indicated plants.
1. Fill the bucket with water.
2. Use the trowel to dig up a dandelion plant and a clump of grass. Be sure to get as much of the root as possible.
3. Dip the roots of each plant up and down in the bucket of water until the roots are free of dirt.
4. Lay the wet plants on the paper towel. Blot the plants with another paper towel to absorb any excess water.
5. Examine the roots of each plant and compare them.
In the diagram, the dandelion root system on the left has one large root with other smaller roots growing off of it. The grass root system on the right has many roots with no one central larger root.
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