Plant World

Plant Structure and Function

What is the economic importance of roots?

Carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, horseradish, sugar beets, and sweet potatoes are all taproots that have been used as food for human consumption for centuries. The spices licorice, sassafras, and sarsaparilla (the flavoring used to make root beer) are derived from roots. The drugs aconite, gentian, ipecac, ginseng, reserpine (a tranquilizer), and protoveratrine (a heart relaxant) are all extracted from the roots of plants.


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