Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


at the Grocery Store!


Most people think of the grocery store as a place to go to buy food. However, what most people don’t notice is that it is also a great place to find a variety of different plants!

By examining the produce section of the grocery store, one can discover a variety of plants and plant parts often overlooked! After all, if we are going to eat, shouldn’t we know what we are eating?

 Understanding the basic parts of a plant and how they function: 

Insert photo of plant here

Basic morphology of a flowering plant. Can you identify the roots, stem, leaves, and flower? 

Roots are a plants means of getting water and nutrients from the ground. They also anchor a plant to the ground. 

Stems serve to lift a plant’s leaves up towards the sunlight. There are many different types of stems, as you will see in this lesson. 

Leaves are the main organs that carry out photosynthesis. They generally consist of a flattened blade and stalk, and a petiole which joins the leaf to the stem. 

Flowers are the main reproductive organ of the plant. 

A Fruit is the mature ovary of a flower. There are many fruit types including fleshy fruitsdry fruitsaccessory fruits, andmultiple fruits. Most of the fruits you eat fall into one of these categories. 

When you eat a fruit or vegetable, you are eating one of these plant parts!

Take a look at this list of fruits and vegetables. What plant part do you think each item is?


White Potato


Here is a good link entitled "Delicious Pieces: The Vegetables We Eat".

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