The macroscopic root water uptake approach was used in the numerical simulation model HYSWASOR to test four different pressure head-dependent reduction functions. The input parameter values were obtained from the literature and derived from extensive measurements under controlled conditions in the greenhouse. The simulation results indicated that the linear reduction function cannot fit the data satisfactorily. Most of the existing non-linear reduction functions can fit only half of the data range, while the best agreement is obtained with the non-linear two-threshold reduction function. The parameter values obtained by calibration differ only slightly from those of the experiments. Soil water pressure head heterogeneity over the root zone does not play an important role in water uptake. The roots appear to take up water from the relatively wetter parts of the root zone to compensate for the water deficit in the drier parts. While the simulated transpiration agrees closely with the experimental data, the main reason for the discrepancy between the simulated and actual water contents appears to be water uptake during the night.