Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)


                            Christmas Cactus taken by Chris Spangenberg
Flowering Christmas Cactus by Nayana Sondi


       Just like the relatives it has in the Kingdom Plantae, S. bridgesii, is autotrophic, which means it can provide itself with food. S. bridgesii does this through photosynthesis. This is the process by which plants use the sunlight's energy with a combination of water and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and glucose, which is their energy source. It stores the glucose as starch to be used at a later time. They transport their food through tubes called phloem. These nutrients then flow by diffusion through the plant (From low concentration to high concentration). In order for this system to keep working, the plant needs to keep adding nutrients to the high concentration areas which uses energy through active transport.

       Carbon dioxide also plays an important role and it is obtained by stomata that allow the carbon dioxide to pass through. Lastly, water is brought up through the root of the plant and dispersed by the xylem. The products play an important role in our lives as humans as well. The plant gives out oxygen which we need in order to survive. At the same time, the plant is taking in carbon dioxide which helps with the ozone increases the percent oxygen in air. There are many other common plants that use photosynthesis which include the dandelion and aloe vera.



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