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Why Plants are Important for Us?

Updated on November 22, 2013

Even since the existence of human race, man has been dependent on the plants for his survival. Primitive man had rather fewer needs food and shelter. However, with civilization man's needs have increased and consequently his dependent upon plants is much more now,.

Plants used by ancient civilization were wild ones. Man in the process of using these plants, has frequently domesticated them and shaped them to his needs.Cultivated plants have arisen from the wild plants through the process of domestication.

Cereals and Millets

The cereals are the important source of food for man. They contain a high percentage of carbohydrates together with considerable amount of proteins, vitamins and fats. There are rice, wheat, maize, barley, oat and rye.

Millets (small grains): Sorghum, Pearl Millet, and Finger millet.

Millets
Millets

Legumes and Nuts:

The legumes or pulses are next to cereals in importance. They contain more protein material than any other vegetable product.

The nut makes a valuable food material due to the presence of high protein and fat. Chestnut, coconut, pea nut, cashew nut, walnut etc.

Fruits
Fruits

Fruits and Vegetables

The plants which store up reserve food in stems, leaves, fruits, and roots are grouped into vegetables. The nutritive value of vegetables is very high, due to the presence of mineral salts and vitamins.

Fruits have been divided into two groups: Tropical fruits and temperate fruits

  • Tropical fruits: Mango, Citrus fruits, Guava, Pine apple, sugar apple, litchi
  • Temperate fruits: Apple, grape, strawberries, peach, plum, grape.

Vegetables
Vegetables

Vegetables

Common name
Scientific name
Parts used
Carrot
Daucus carota
Root
Radish
Raphanus sativa
Root
Turnip
Brassica rapa
Root
Beet
Beta vulgaris
Root
Potato
Solanum tuberosum
Stem tuber
Onion
Allium cepa
Stem
Cabbage
Brassica oleracea
leaves
Spinach
Spinacea oleracea
leaves
Lettuce
Lactuca sativa
Leaves
Tomato
Lycoperscion esculentum
Fruit
Cucumber
Cucumis sp
Fruit
Pumpkins
Cucurbita sp
Fruit
Brinjal
Solanum melongena
Fruit
Chillies
Capsicum sp
Fruit
Lady's finger
Abelmoschus esculentus
Fruit

Plants are imporant source of fibres

About 2000 species odf plant yield various fibres all over the world.

The fibre yielding plants-

Fibre Yielding Plants

No
Common Name
Scientific Name
1
Cotton
Gossypium species
2
Jute
Corchras capularis
3
Flax
Linum usitatissimum
4
Hemp
Cannabis sativa
5
Coir
Cocos nucufera

Plants are important source of Fatty oils.

They are usually stored up in seeds of plants, sometimes to a less extent in fruits, stems and other organs. Fatty oils are used as cooking media.

Oil seeds

No
Common Name
Botanical Name
1
Groundnut
Arachis hypogea
2
Castor
Ricinus communis
3
Linseed
Linum usitatissium
4
Sesame
Sesamum indicum
5
Rape
Brassica species
6
Safflower
Carthamus tinctorius
7
Coconut
Cocos nucifera
8
Soybean
Glycine max

Medicinal plants

Most drugs are obtained from wild plants growing in all parts of the world, especially in tropical regions.

Turmeric
Turmeric

Medicinal plants and its uses

Gooseberrry( Emblica offlicinalis): deciduous tree, used in triphala drug used in purgatives, enlarged liver and eye inflammation, richest source of vitamin C, juice used in jaundice, anemia and indigestion.

Pine(Pinus roxburghii): oil used as stimulant and expectorant in chronic bronchitis, checks constipation.

Cichona officinalis, bark gives quinine (anti malarial), also used in eye lotions.

Plants are important source of Paper and Pulp

One of the important uses of cellulose is in the manufacture of paper. Fibrous wood is used for making pulp and paper. Reed papyrus, Conifer fir, Spruce are suitable. Bamboo is also used.

Timber and wood

Wood is the widely used commodity after food and clothing.

The hard wood group is of: Teak, Eucalyptus, Sal etc and soft wood group has conifers, deodar, pine etc.

Resins, Dyes, and Gums

They are found in stems and occur in special canals or ducts.

Resins: Tree exudates, soluble in alcohol. Pines are used.

Gums: Secretion from wounds, Acacia senegal gives arabic gum, Boswillia serata, Anogeissus latifolia, Sterculia urens etc give gums

© 2013 Deena

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Thumbs up on this very well done post and its suggestions are excellent. You have provided me with new information on plants and I appreciate the education.

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