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Inheritance of Traits – Inherited Characteristics in Plants

Grade 3
Jun 6, 2023

Inherited Characteristics in Plants

You might have noticed that family members look similar to one another, even though they are not identical.

It might be the case that someone’s hair and eyes are the same colour as their parents or their face has the same shape.

These are inherited characteristics that you do not have any control over.


Inheritance is the way that parents pass traits onto their offspring. It happens in plants, animals, and yes, even humans!

Explanation of Inheritance

Plants look similar to their parent plant and have inherited traits just like humans and animals.


Like baby animals resembling their parents including humans, many trees and plants emerge from sprouts with leaves that look a lot like their adult forms.


The transfer of characteristics from parents to their children (offspring) is known as inheritance.

The physical characteristics of plants are called traits.

parts of plant

Offspring is a term used for a baby plant or animal.

They are similar to their parents in many ways and share the same functions and many features.


Baby plants look like their parents, just smaller.

They both have roots that absorb water from the soil and keep the plant in place.

Plant offspring

Inherited Characteristics

Inheritance refers to the physical features that are passed from parents to offspring.

Some Common Inherited Characteristics in Plants are:

  • Flower color and shape
  • Flower position
  • Seed color
  • Seed shape
  • Leaf pattern
  • Stem height

Some examples are given below.

Flower Color and Shape

A mature plant will pass on the shape and color of its flower to its offspring.

Same flower color and shape
Leaf Pattern

A mature plant will pass on the shape of its leaves and the color of its fruit to its offspring.

Same shape and color
Plant Height

A mature plant will pass on the height to its offspring.

Same height of plants
What Traits will a Baby Sunflower Inherit from its Parent Plants?

Offspring inherit traits from their parent plant that give them their characteristics and appearance. A baby sunflower will grow up to look similar to its parents.

They will have Similar:

  • Flower color
  • Flower position
  • Stem shape
  • Leaf color
  • Leaf pattern
Inherited characteristics in plants


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