What are Aerial Roots?

Aerial roots are roots that grow above the ground. An aerial root develops from a branch or stem above the surface of earth or water. These roots are found in plants, such as orchids, mangrove trees, banyan trees, ‘pohutukawa’ trees of New Zealand and vines like poison ivy and common ivy. Aerial roots have different qualities that suit various plant habitats. For example, the aerial roots of ivy vines’ cling to host plants, rocks, houses, etc. to provide support to the weak-stemmed parent plant. Similarly, in case of the banyan tree, the aerial roots provide extra support to the bulky tree. Some orchids have aerial roots that grow from their stems and absorb water directly from the air.

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