On these rootlets of a rye plant are fine root hairs estimated to number some 14 billion with a total length of 6,600 miles, almost the distance from pole to pole.
As the special burrowing cells are worn out by contact with stones, pebbles, and large grains of sand, they are rapidly replaced, but when they reach a source of nourishment they die and are replaced by cells designed to dissolve mineral salts and collect the resulting elements.
From crib to coffin, man relies on cellulose as the basis for his shelter, clothing, fuel, fibers, basketry, cordage, musical instruments, and the paper on which he scribbles his philosophy.
The abundance of plants profitably used by man is indicated by nearly six hundred pages in Uphof's Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Copyright © Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird 1973 First published in India by Harper Collins Publishers India 2000 All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Obear, Chief of the Loan Division, and to his most helpful assistants. Pauls, and Benjamin Swinson, who saved them much anxiety by caring for their shelved books. Allen of the Slavic and Central European Division, and Dolores Moyano Martin, of the Latin American Division, Library of Congress, and to Lida L.
When the earth is dry, the roots turn toward moister ground, finding their way into buried pipes, stretching, as in the case of the lowly alfalfa plant, as far as forty feet, developing an energy that can bore through concrete.
No one has yet counted the roots of a tree, but a study of a single rye plant indicates a total of over 13 million rootlets with a combined length of 380 miles.
Lastly the authors are grateful to their respective helpmates, without whom the book would never have reached the printer.
Introduction Short of Aphrodite, there is nothing lovelier on this planet than a flower, nor more essential than a plant.