Mesophytes are common land plants, which grow in situations that are neither too wet nor too dry. These plants can neither grow in water or waterlogged soils nor can they survive in dry places. In other words, mesophytes are the plants of those regions where climates and soils are favourable. Vegetations of forests, meadows and cultivated fields belong to this category. The simplest mesophytic community comprises of grasses and herbs, richer communities have herbs and bushes, and the richest ones have trees (rain-forest in tropics).
Mesophytes can be classified into two main community groups:
1. Communities of grasses and herbs.
2. Communities of woody plants.
Adaptations of plants to mesic habitats. The plants which grow in moderately moist and cool habitats are called mesophytes e.g. majority of crop plants. The mesophytes have following morphological and physiological features.
i. Root system is well developed. Roots are generally fairly branched with root caps and root hairs.
ii. The stems are generally aerial, solid and freely branched.
iii. Leaves are generally large, broad and moderately thick. They are without hairs or waxy coating.
iv. The stomata are distributed on both surfaces of the leaves.
v. The mesophyll in leaves is differentiated into palisade and spongy parenchyma, with many intercellular spaces.
vi. The aerial parts possess moderately developed cuticle.
vii. Mechanical and vascular tissues are fairly developed and well differentiated.