Plant uptake is one of the environmental processes that influence contaminant fate. Understanding the magnitude and rate of plant uptake is critical to assessing potential crop contamination and the development of phytoremediation technologies. We determined (1) the partition-dominated equilibrium sorption of lindane (LDN) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) by roots and shoots of wheat seedlings, (2) the kinetic uptake of LDN and HCB by roots and shoots of wheat seedlings, (3) the kinetic uptake of HCB, tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE) by roots and shoots of ryegrass seedlings, and (4) the lipid, carbohydrate, and water contents of the plants. Although the determined sorption and the plant composition together suggest the predominant role of plant lipids for the sorption of LDN and HCB, the predicted partition with lipids of LDN and HCB using the octanol-water partition coefficients is notably lower than the measured sorption, due presumably to underestimation of the plant lipid contents and to the fact that octanol is less effective as a partition medium than plant lipids. The equilibrium sorption or the estimated partition can be viewed as the kinetic uptake limits. The uptakes of LDN, PCE, and TCE from water at fixed concentrations increased with exposure time in approach to steady states. The uptake of HCB did not reach a plateau within the tested time because of its exceptionally high partition coefficient. In all of the cases, the observed uptakes were lower than their respective limits, due presumably to contaminant dissipation in and limited water transpiration by the plants. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.