Rhododendron ponticum is a plant; therefore, it is a primary producer. Primary producers produce their own food through photosynthesis. The following is the photosynthesis equation:

Image of sun from Clip Art

+ H2O + CO2  > C6H12O6 + O2

     Photosynthesis begins with carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, water mainly from the soil that was taken up through the roots, and energy from the sun. These reactants form glucose and oxygen as products. The glucose is either used for cellular respiration or structures in the plant such as the cell walls. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere or it is used for cellular respiration in the electron transport chain.

     How does water and sugar move around in Rhododendron ponticum?
     Water is transported through the plant tissue in the xylem. Water is pulled up from the roots to the top of the plant. The sugars are pushed through the phloem from the source (leaves or storage roots) to the sink (tissue where the sugar is used).

     In this image xylem is labeled as 1 and phloem is labeled as 2. The remaining areas are cambium (3), pith (4), and companion cells (5).


 ©Michael Salaverry 2012

Reproduction of Rhododendron ponticum