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How water is transported in plants

Water is absorbed through the roots of a plant.
It travels up the stem and out though the leaves.
This process is called transpiration

The water travels up the stem through tiny tubes called XYLEM


  • Find three beakers (or jars) and two sticks of celery.
  • Place the same amount of water in each beaker
    (It doesn’t matter how much, but about half fill the beaker).
  • Place some food colouring in one of the beakers.
  • Place the beakers near each other in the light (eg on a windowsill)
  • Label the beakers (eg 1, 2 and 3) so they can be identified
  • Place one stick of celery in the coloured water and one stick in one of the other beakers.
  • Mark the level of the water on each beaker (use something like a Sharpie to write on the glass)
  • Examine the level of water in each beaker after 1 day and again after two days.
  • Record your results

Start of experiment

After 1 day you need to make careful observations.

Beaker 1:
You might see the stem and leaves taking on the colour of the food colour.
The colour will not be evenly spread but will be concentrated in the xylem vessels.

Remove the celery from the coloured water and lay it on a cutting board.
Carefully cut a slice of celery and examine the cut surface.~
You should see coloured dots which are the xylem vessels.

Beakers 2 and 3:
Examine the water levels.
Are the same as they were before the experiment?
You might expect them both to be lower because some of the water will have evaporated.
If beaker 2 has a lower water level than beaker 3 then it shows that some of the water must have moved up the celery stem. This shows transpiration taking place.


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