The root system is the part of a plant that normally grows underground. Its primary functions are anchorage of the plant, absorption of water and dissolved minerals, conduction of these to the stem, and storage of reserve foods. Gymnosperms, such as pine trees, have a taproot system. A primary root, or taproot, emerges from the seedling and secondary roots grow laterally from it. The taproot grows deep into the ground, enabling the tree to withstand long periods of drought.