The roots of a plant are the plants lifeline. They reach out into the soil to establish an avenue for the transport of nutrients and water to the rest of the plant. The roots absorb water through osmosis. If the water concentration outside of the plant roots is greater than that of the water concentration in the roots osmosis occurs. The difference in pressure triggers the plant to bring in water through the root cell walls to create a pressure balance and thus providing necessary water to the plant. When a plant has adequate water uptake, it will flourish and grow.
Translation : Before finishing this memoir, I think I should report an event that I owe to chance and which at first seemed to me … strange … I filled [with alcohol] a cylindrical vial, five inches long and about one inch in diameter; and [after] having covered it with piece of damp bladder [which was] tied to the neck of the vial, I immersed it in a large bowl full of water, in order to be sure that no air re-entered the alcohol. At the end of 5 or 6 hours, I was very surprised to see that the vial was fuller than at the moment of its immersion, although it [had been filled] as far as its sides would allow ; the bladder that served as its cap, bulged and had become so stretched that on pricking it with a needle, there came from it a jet of alcohol that rose more than a foot high.