Plants excrete indigestible matter from their roots, very similar to water but a bit more sticky.
There is a huge array of chemical compounds secreted by plant roots (exhudates), many of them for the purpose of impacting the immediate soil ecology for either the benefit of the plant or to prevent any sort of competetion from other plants (allelopathy). One such compound is Glomalin, a glyco protein that serves as both a lubricant and a glue. The entire process is extraordinarily simple in the concept but equally complex in any sort of explanation.
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