Adventitious Roots Example
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Functions & Adventitious Roots Example in Plants & Trees

Adventitious Roots

What are Adventitious Roots?

Adventitious roots are roots that sprout from a stem or the trunk of a tree. Adventitious roots are often formed when a plant has been injured. The injury is caused by the plant being exposed to freezing temperatures, excessive winds, or insects.

Adventitious roots can also form when a plant has insufficient water. Adventitious roots that form from a tree’s trunk are called basal roots. The adventitious root can help the roots to absorb water, oxygen, and nutrients better.

Adventitious roots are a branch of vascular plants that are rooted at points where they come into contact with the ground, rather than being formed from the plant’s single root.

Adventitious roots are often found on dicots, as in “Euphorbia” and “Petasites.” They are also common in monocots, such as lilies (“Lilium”) and irises (“Iris”), and even on some ferns.

The word “adventitious” comes from the Latin verb “adventus,” meaning to arrive or come. The word also means genetics as it describes a gene or genes being turned on by a change in the environment (such as when the plant is injured).

In this sense, the word is used in a number of contexts, for example, referring to a “gene that can cause uncontrolled cell proliferation” and “a gene that can cause cancer.”

Adventitious roots are similar to taproots, except that they form closer to the tips of other roots. They are formed when a lateral root experiences an increase in length and diameter resulting from greater mineral ions concentrations by the side where the water potential is lower.

Adventitious roots also differ from taproots in that they are not always thicker than other roots.

Some plants have the ability to form adventitious roots under certain conditions, which is called “root-budding.” It is the formation of new roots in a similar way to tree branches.

Some plants, such as the Turk’s cap lily (“Lilium superbum”), are specially adapted for such growth. Root-budding is also found in some other animals, including “Drosophila” fruit flies.

Buds that develop from adventitious roots are sometimes described as “rootlets.” A rootlet is a bud formed from the union of a root and an adventitious root. In that same sense, the gravis sheath is normally considered a taproot of a stem.

Adventitious roots are non-vascular (non-water flowing). The water and nutrients used by the adventitious roots can only come from the plant itself.

Adventitious Roots Functions

Adventitious roots work to prevent the plants from dying off. Before a stem or trunk of a tree can form new adventitious roots, the leaves have to die off.

When the new growth comes back, it has to be strong enough to support itself. This can take around three years for the continuous emergence of new adventitious roots.

The adventitious roots can also extend through the soil and help plants to maintain their body position better. There are two types of adventitious roots: ephemeral and permanent. Ephemeral adventitious roots only last a year or two before disappearing because the leaves die back in fall or winter.

Adventitious Roots Example

Adventitious roots are roots that develop as a response to injury or stress. These are most often branches of the plant’s vascular system growing below the surface of the ground.

An example of this is when a stem grows over a rock and sends out new roots below it to stabilize itself. Adventitious roots grow above the collar.

Examples of Adventitious roots plants include; mangroves, bamboo, maize, and rice. All have adventitious roots.

Adventitious Roots Diagram Example

Adventitious roots are usually internodal and may be proliferated in anastomoses with the main root or other adventitious roots.

Adventitious Roots Example

Adventitious roots are typically not used for water and nutrient uptake but rather to anchor the plant to its environment.


Adventitious roots grow from the stem or trunk of a plant rather than from its seeds. Adventitious root systems often form in response to damage to the primary root system. The adventitious roots can help plants survive by providing them with more access to water and nutrients.

In addition to taproots and fibrous roots, some plants develop additional root structures as they grow in size. Most trees and shrubs have lateral roots that extend outward from the main root system. These roots take up water and nutrients from the soil and can also support branches that are heavy with leaves or fruit.

Adventitious roots also develop from the stem of a plant, but they form at the point where the stem and a leaf or petiole join. Adventitious roots typically grow downward, though they can also grow to different sides of a stem.


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