Some plants use hairy roots and acid to access nutrients in rock

Fine hairs and chemicals that dissolve rocky substrates are crucial in regions with little soil

uprooted plant

DIG IT  Collecting a sample of Barbacenia macrantha (shown) is tough work, requiring chisels and hammers to unearth the plant and the rock it grows in. The plant’s specialized roots help it live in environments deficient in phosphorus and other nutrients.

A. Abrahão

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