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Types of Plants and Their Adaptation: Xerophytes and Hydrophytes

Last Updated: 03-05-2021

Types of Plants

Adaptations are features that enable plants survive and thrive in their respective habitats.
  • Xerophytes - Plants that grow in dry areas (e.g Sisal, Cacti, Euphorbia, acacia)
  • Mesophytes - Plants that grow in normal conditions
  • Hydrophytes - PLants that grow in water or very wet areas (e.g water Lilies, pond weeds)
Picture of Cacti in the desert
Cacti (Singular: Cactus) - Xerophytes
Picture of water lilies in a pond
Water lilies - Hydrophytes

Adaptation of Xerophytes

  1. Shed leaves during dry season to minimize transpiration (water loss)
  2. Some have needle like leaves to reduce transpiration
  3. Some desert plants fold leaves to reduce transpiration
  4. Some have shiny hairs on the leaves to reflect sunlight
  5. Some plants have fleshy stems to store water (e.g Cactus, plural:Cacti)
  6. They have fewer stomata on leaves to reduce transpiration.
  7. The stomata are located on the underside of the leaves
  8. The stomata close up during the day (when its hot) and open during the night (when its cold)
  9. Some have leaves with a thick waxy cuticle

Adaptation of Hydrophytes

  1. Large leaves to increase transpiration
  2. Leaves have many stomata on the upper side
  3. Leaves have thin or no cuticle to increase transpiration
  4. Some have air sacs that enable them float on water
  5. They have a reduced root system

In Summary
Xerophytes are adapted to reduce transpiration while Hydrophytes are adapted to increase transpiration

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