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Leaf it to Me

Leaves have some big jobs to do in the life of a plant. One of the biggest is to soak in the water that helps keep the plant alive. However, too much water is no good! A lot of rain falls in the rainforest. If leaves stay too wet, mold can grow on them. Would you want mold to grow on you? Plants don’t either!

Waxy Leaf with Drip Tip Rainforest Plant Adaptations
Different types of plants in the rainforest have different ways of dealing with too much water. For example, some leaves have drip tips that act like a spout, allowing extra water to dribble off. Some leaves are thick and waxy so extra water can form beads and fall down to the plant’s roots. The leaves of some plants and trees are adapted to catch rain as it falls and hold it. The surfaces of these leaves are designed to absorb water slowly so it is available when the plant is thirsty. They may also be adapted to resist mold more easily than other leaves.

All of these special adaptations make sure the plant gets the water it needs without running the risk of having wet moldy leaves.

How do you control how much water you get?

Drip into more: Plant Adaptations

Rainforest Science curriculum connection: Unit 1: Chapter 2, Lesson 1, Grades K-5
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