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How do I answer this: Discuss hypothesis that long organs herbaceous angiosperms are adapted to the mech...?

Discuss the hypothesis that the long organs of herbaceous angiosperms are adapted to the mechanical function that they perform. Use the following species with contrasting growth forms: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) – self supporting; Runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.) – twining; and Cleavers (Galium aparine L.) - hooked climber. Relate the arrangement of the mechanical tissues in each organ to the forces it must withstand. I have the information about the sunflower stem, sunflower petiole, bean stem and cleavers. But just need some help about how to lay it out, how to start it off. The structure of it aswell. It can only be one side of A4 aswell. All help and advice very appreciated!! xx


  1. Probably your best approach will be to discuss the issue beginning with the sorts of habitats that these plants grow in, and then how the characteristics of the stems (and also leaves and flowers, for cleavers) are adapted to growth in these situations. For example, the bean grows naturally in a community of mixed herbs and shrubs, and its stem is adapted to spiral and twist around the various other taller species among which it lives - even when it is growing in a garden. It is specifically designed to grow among other plants. Cleavers grows in a variety of marginal habitats ranging from the open bank of a creek to the same mix of taller herbs and shrubs that favours the bean. To handle this variety of circumstances, cleavers can grow along the ground at the creek bank, or use the hooks along its stem (and along its leaf margins) to support itself as it stands up among taller vegetation. And the sunflower can only grow amongst others of its own species. It grows well in a field amongst many other sunflowers. It is able to grow a very rigid stem to support its heavy head of flowers, but it couldn't twist around another plant, or hook itself to another plant, even if it wished to. And it is unsuited to growth lying along the ground, like along a creek. It must grow among other low vegetation, (lower than 2m, let us say), but doesn't grow under tree cover. Of the 3, cleavers is the most adaptable.