The roots of plants are essential subsurface components of all vascular plants. Roots help to anchor the plant to the ground.
They also provide essential elements such as oxygen, nutrients, and water from the soil.
There are various types of roots and we will be exploring plants with long roots in this post. Long roots are more effective in the absorption and retainment of water.
This is especially useful for plants like the cacti, which often thrive in the desert.
Let us examine 10 plants with long roots.
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Cactus (Cactaceae family) comprises about 2,000 species and 139 genera. Cacti are native to North and South America, ranging from British Columbia to Alberta.
Mexico has the most species and the widest range.
Although a few cactus species exist in tropical or subtropical climates, the majority grow in and are well adapted to dry environments.
Cacti are perennial succulent plants. Cacti have thick herbaceous or woody chlorophyll-containing stems in general.
Cacti are distinguishable from other succulent plants by the presence of areoles, which are tiny cushion-like structures with trichomes (plant hairs) and, in almost all species, spines or barbed bristles (glochids).
The majority of cacti lack flowers, have them sparingly, or have them converted as spines.
2. Balloon Flower
Balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) are perennials that form bunches. that They belong to the bellflower family, despite their blooms not resembling bells.
This easy-to-grow plant blooms all summer with deep blue-violet flowers or white and pink blooms.
Balloon flowers thrive in either full sun or partial shade, as long as they receive six hours of direct sunlight per day.
They don’t need to be watered very often. The soil should be damp but not dripping wet.
Balloon flowers are ideal plants for border gardens or rock gardens, and their wide-open petals attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Balloon flowers are low-maintenance plants that are pest- and disease-resistant.
Here is an article I wrote on plants with long leaves
3. Butterfly Weed
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a milkweed family herbaceous perennial with a long life span.
Much of North America is home to it. Butterfly milkweed, orange milkweed, pleurisy root, and chigger flower are some of the other common names for this plant.
This plant grows in grasslands and meadows, open forests, along roadsides, and other open locations.
Butterflyweed has numerous ascending stems with many narrow leaves.
It has a profusion of dark-greenish foliage on several upright stems that grow from a big taproot. This makes a cluster that is about 1½ to 3 feet tall and wide.
Native Americans employed its long knobby root, which can grow several feet deep, for medicinal purposes.
4. False Blue Indigo
False indigo is a big, erect perennial with grey-green leaves and stunning long strobile of indigo-blue flowers that bloom from April to June.
The pea-like flowers are accompanied by black seed pods.
Even when the flowers have faded, false indigo’s regal shape makes an excellent decorative statement in the garden.
When planted as a seed, it can take up to a year for it to reach its full height.
Humans and animals are both minimally harmed by all components of this plant.
The alkaloid substances that cause nausea and vomiting in humans and animals may also be accountable for this plant’s unpalatability to insects, making it a relatively trouble-free garden plant.
5. Sea Holly
From mid-summer to fall, sea holly plants (Eryngium) are low-maintenance perennials with basal clumps of dark green leaves that develop longer flower stems with beautiful purple-blue flowers that seem like miniature lighting thistles.
Sea holly blooms are native to Europe and have green or blue cones with a characteristic silver, white, green, or bluish-purple bract collar.
These plants typically grow to be 18 to 36 inches (45-90 cm) tall with a spread of one foot (30 cm).
The hues have a metallic sheen that changes with the light, and the stems might be green or silvery blue, depending on the type.
Drought, winds, salt sprays, and sandy soils are not a problem for sea holly plants.
They are suitable for use as specimen plants, in garden beds and borders, and in butterfly gardens.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a perennial flower that grows in bunches in grasslands and along riverbanks. It’s also a lovely addition to a wildflower garden or container plantings.
The plant grows taller than it does wide. It has big, pointed, dark green leaves that can grow up to 8 inches long and have a coarse, hairy feel. Lower leaves on the plant are often larger than the upper leaves.
Tiny bell-shaped flowers emerge in bunches on drooping stalks in late April. They frequently entice bees and other pollinators.
Comfrey grows quickly and can be planted at any time of the year.
Despite the fact that this plant contains toxic substances known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), some people employ the leaf, root, and stem for medical purposes.
Also check out this article I wrote on plants with hairy leaves
Dill is a gourmet herb with a distinct flavor. Dill, which is native to Europe and Asia, is frequently used to season pickled items that are to be canned.
Dill’s feathery foliage can be rather beautiful, making it an excellent choice for flower gardens where it will attract bees and butterflies.
It complements other plants effectively, either used as greenery or as a brilliant point of color. Dill, despite its delicate appearance, is a moderately cold-hardy plant.
It grows swiftly, with seedlings sprouting in roughly ten days, and is best started in early spring once the risk of frost has passed.
Mature plants are multi-branched and erect, with finely dissected leaves and broad, flat blooms that can cause the plant to topple over.
Bugbane is a low-maintenance, shade-tolerant perennial with spikes of white blooms in late summer on tall, wiry stalks.
It makes an excellent vertical accent for a shade garden, perennial border, or at the edge of a pond.
Cimicifuga Simplex has high, fluffy spires 12-24 in. long (30-60 cm) that are densely packed with strongly scented, small starry creamy-white blooms.
They bloom the greatest from late summer to early autumn.
Bugbane thrives on ordinary, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade, growing up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 2 ft. broad (60 cm).
Bugbane is an excellent choice for beds, borders, forests, cottage gardens, and naturalized areas.
Bugbane attracts birds and butterflies which makes it a colorful addition to any garden.
9. Cushion Spurge
Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia Polychroma) is a mounding, clustering perennial that is well-suited to borders.
It has a lovely dome (or cushion) shape and bears thick, flattened golden-yellow blooms.
It’s one of the few perennials with beautiful fall foliage. In mid-April, its tall, robust stems yield cymes of modest greenish blooms.
In the fall, the foliage of medium green leaves turns a spectacular scarlet, purple, or orange, providing a long season of interest.
The plant can reach a height of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) and a width of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
Please keep in mind that ingesting any component of the plant is extremely dangerous. When its milk sap comes into touch with the skin or eyes, it can cause irritation.
Lupine (genus Lupinus), is a genus of roughly 200 herbaceous and partially woody plants of the pea family (Fabaceae).
Lupines are found across the Mediterranean region, but they are notably abundant in the grasslands of western North America.
Many varieties are produced as ornamentals because of their gorgeous flower plumes, and a few are excellent as cover crops and feed crops.
Lupines improve soil fertility by capturing nitrogen from the atmosphere and storing it in a form that other plants can utilize.
Herbaceous lupines can grow up to 4 feet tall and have palmately split leaves. The majority of species produce flower spikes that are compact and erect.
As we mentioned earlier, roots serve several important functions in plants which are key to the survival of the plant.
Without the roots, the plant would die out. There are several types of roots including shallow roots, tuberous, fibrous, and taproots.
Most of the plants highlighted above have taproots which are oftentimes the long roots that extend straight down into the ground for several feet.
Any of these will make great additions to your outdoor and indoor gardens.