5 Characteristics of Taproot

5 Characteristics of Taproots
Roots are a part of a plant that is located at the tip of the plant and is embedded in the soil. Roots also have an important role in plant survival.

Some of the functions that roots have include absorbing water and mineral salts from the soil, supporting and strengthening the establishment of plants where they live, and functioning as a storage place.

Based on their shape, roots are divided into two types, namely fibrous roots and tap roots. In this article, we will discuss taproots in more depth, starting from their definition, function, characteristics, examples, and differences with fibrous roots. Here is the information below.

Definition of Taproot

Quoted from the book Sengon and Jabon Kayu Super Fast (2012) by Agus Sumarno and the Ketikbuku Editorial Team, tap roots are roots that consist of one large root.

The roots are a continuation of the base of the branch. While the other roots become branches of the main root. Taproots are usually found in plants with two parts or dicotyledons.

Taproots Are Roots That Consist of One Large Root (Unsplash)

Taproot Function

Like other roots in general, tap roots also have important functions for plants. Here are some of the functions you need to know

  • Strengthens plants so they can stand strong and not easily come off the ground.
  • Can act as a means of respiration for some plants
  • Able to absorb water and fig substances more optimally and transport water to all parts of the plant
  • As a place to store food reserves

Characteristics of Taproots

In general, tap roots are characterized by being large, long and found in dicotyledonous plants and open seed plants.
Not only that, taproots also have other characteristics that are important to know. Here are the characteristics

  1. Has a main root as the center
  2. Has large, long and strong roots
  3. It has side roots which are usually called lateral roots
  4. Generally have pinnate or parallel leaves
  5. It does not originate and develop from plant stems
  6. Taproots generally penetrate deep below the soil surface
  7. Not only in dicotyledonous plants, tap roots are also found in gymnosperm plants.
  8. Not found in grass
  9. Does not have useful tissue to hold particles on the soil surface.
  10. Able to store food reserves under certain conditions.
  11. Capable of reaching deep water existence

Taproot Types

Taproots have several different types in some plants. Here are two types of tap roots that you need to know about.

1. Slight Taproot

This type of root is divided into three types, namely

·         Napiformis

This type of root has a shape like a top. The characteristic feature is that the root base is round, which makes it unique compared to the shape of the root base in general. Piformis
roots have branches that resemble fibrous roots. In addition, the root tip has a pointed and narrow shape.
An example of a plant that has roots like this is jicama

·         Fusiform

It is a type of root that is shaped like a spear . The base of the spear is large and the roots have fibers.
One example of a plant that has this type of root is radish.

·         Filiform

It is a type of root that is shaped like a thread and is small in size so it is often confused with fiber roots. Apart from that, this root does not have many branches

2. Branched Taproot

It is a type of tap root that has many branches. Trees that have this type of root are usually strong because they are able to absorb a lot of water with their downward conical shape.
This type of root is often found in various dicotyledonous plants.

Examples of Plants that Have Taproots

Here are some examples of taproot plants that you need to know.

Taproots Are Roots That Consist of One Root (Unsplash)

1. Acacia Tree

This is a tree that has a taproot with a very striking large trunk. The roots of this tree can reach a depth of around 3-5 meters below the ground surface. Meanwhile, acacia trees have a height of around 15-20 meters.

2. Banyan Tree

It is a tree with a tap root that is large and strong to support the trunk of a tree that is no less large. This tree has a height of about 15 meters. Apart from that, this tree also has hanging roots which are useful as a means of tree respiration.

3. Teak Tree

This is a tree that also has a tap root. This tree is known as a sturdy and good tree. Apart from that, this tree is also often used as material for making furniture because it is durable.

4. Carrots

Even though they are small in size, carrots are also a tap-rooted plant which is useful for storing food reserves.

Over time, the roots of this plant will change shape to become larger, rounder and longer. The roots that undergo this change are known as carrot tubers which are useful for reproduction.

Difference Between Taproots and Fibers

As previously explained, roots are divided into two types, namely fibrous roots and tap roots. Each type certainly has differences in various aspects.

So that you don’t have difficulty distinguishing, look at the table of differences between taproot and fibrous types below.


Fiber Roots

Tap root

Root Size

Has a smaller size

It has a larger size and grows at the base of the stem

Boundaries of Root Ends and Calyptra

See clearly

Not clearly visible



Narrow in size


You can see the cambium inside

No cambium is visible in it

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