Stem Tissue

Below is a microscopic cross-section of a typical stem (taken from a dicotyledonous plant)

  • Distribution of tissues may differ between plant types (e.g. vascular bundles are scattered in monocotyledons)

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Key Features:

  • The epidermis covers the outer surface and functions to waterproof, protect the stem and control gas exchange
  • The ground tissue (cortex and pith) is found internally and assist in the transport and storage of materials within the stem
  • The cambium is a centrally located, circular layer of undifferentiated cells responsible for lateral growth of the stem
  • Vascular bundles are arranged in bundles near the outer edge of the stem to resist compression and bending
    • The xylem is located to the interior side of the bundle and the phloem is on the exterior side (phloem = outside)