Plants can be labeled as the organisms within the biological kingdom Plantae. They are a kind of species which are considered to manufacture their food thru photosynthesis, and they have a limited motility. They are a vast range of organisms which include; trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses, forbs, mosses and vines. Major characteristics of plants are; they are multicellular, functionality to make their food through the technique of photosynthesis and they have a cell structure that has partitions which contain cellulose. Plants are grown widely in homes, farms, gardens and on the roadside. They make up the inexperienced environment on earth, and human life can’t exist without the plants on this earth. The presence of plants attributes to the clean air, food, and water in this world (Allaby & Facts on File, 2010). They also contribute to the economy and people rely on the products of plants for livelihood and as a source of income. This paper will analyze the many benefits of the plants as seen by the human beings and in the environment.
Importance of the Plants
Plants are the primary source of food for humans and some animals. Unlike the animals and humans, plants can make their food through the process of photosynthesis in which they use the sunlight and make the food on their green leaves. Through photosynthesis, the plants convert the light energy from the sunlight and store it in their leaves, where they use carbon dioxide and water. The plants consume food a part of the manufactured food, and the rest is stored in the form of fruits, tuberous roots, stems, leaves and in seeds. These are then consumed by the humans and animals in the form of fruits, grains, leaves, seeds, cereals and as roots. The plants offer nutritious foods which comprise of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Examples of these plants include; wheat, legumes, potatoes, tree nuts, celery, lettuce, beetroot among others (B & S.L, n.d.).
Most plants do provide food to the animals such as nectar and pollen grains for the bees and moths, fruits for monkeys and birds, leaves consumed by caterpillars and other bigger herbivorous animals, and termites feed on the dead bark of some trees. The morphology of plants is usually of high ecological importance to animals in the provision of shelter such as shelter and nesting space for animals; for instance the eucalyptus. Some plants contribute a crucial ecological role by affecting the level if nutrients in the soil; for instance most plants of the pea family do form root nodules that do contain a bacteria known as Rhizobia which acts by holding the nitrogen in its surrounding area of the soil (Watson, 2008).
Many plants have been grown by humans for production of food, raw materials, medicines and fuel which are then used for sale. Many people grow plants in their farms and maximize their yield of plants in order to maximize their profit. An example is wheat which is commercially grown to make cereal, pasta, bread and biscuits.
A number of plants have medicinal properties that are contained in different parts of the plant that include the leaves, barks, fruits, seeds, roots and flowers. In the different parts of the pants, there are different active ingredients which can be utilized for medicinal purposes. For instance Ginseng plant is used widely for stimulating the immune system, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, and increasing the energy levels (Church, 2005).
Plants have evolved in producing an amazing variety of chemical compounds which are known as secondary metabolites that are meant for survival purposes. The metabolites serve to put off herbivores, for protection against pathogens, and in reduction of the radiation effect (Watson, 2008).These chemical compounds have been discovered by human beings and are being used as drugs so as to affect the brain and their mental states for luxurious satisfaction. Opium poppy is an example of plant which has been used to process drugs such as morphine, codeine and heroin.
Spices are substances derived from plants that are used to add flavor to any cooked food. Spices are derived from parts of the plants which include the roots, flowers, barks, seeds, rhizomes, stems and fruits. Leaves mainly are used to make herbs. Spices have a greater strength, pungency, or intensity of their flavors as compared to herbs (Yoest, 2014). In old days, spices and herbs were used to prevent the spoilage of food unlike today they are used to enhance the food’s flavor. Ginger, cloves are examples of plants used in making of spices.
Plants have been used in production of fabric and textile material. The materials are commonly used for they are cheap, eco-friendly and friendly. For these, they are used in making of clothes and beddings which are used by the humans all over the world. Cotton is a good example of a plant which is widely used in production of clothing.
There are plants grown specifically for decoration and ornamental purposes. These plants are usually grown in a flowerbed, others grown as a hedge and shaped in a beautiful manner, while others are placed in sunny house windows. These plants are meant for aesthetic appeal to humans. There are also plants that grow naturally and they appear ornamental for they enhance the landscape. A dogwood tree is an example of ornamental plant (Why plants are important, n.d.).
Furniture and shelter
Plants are a crucial source of shelter and furniture. Most trees are used in production of wood which is used in construction of houses and furniture items such as, beds, tables and chairs. The wood is used for its durability, resistance to temperature changes and the stylish finishing. Oak, birch, spruce and cypress have been used as wood for construction.
Allaby, M., & Facts on File, Inc. (2010). Plants: Food, medicine, and the green earth. New York: Facts on File.
B., & S.L., B. (n.d.). The importance of plants. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.botanical-online.com/theimportanceofplants.htm
Church, B. (2005). Medicinal plants, trees, & shrubs of Appalachia: A field guide. Glenville, WV: B. Church.
Watson, B. (2008). Plants: Their use, management, cultivation and biology : a comprehensive guide. Ramsbury: Crowood.
Why plants are important. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.bgci.org/plantconservationday/whyplantsimportant/
Yoest, H. (2014). Plants with benefits: An uninhibited guide to the aphrodisiac herbs, fruits, flowers & veggies in your garden.