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annual plant

A plant that sprouts, flowers, produces seeds, and then dies, all in one year or season.

apical dominance

The main or central stem is dominant over any stems branching outward from it, resulting in a conical branch pattern.

apical meristem

The area at the tip of a stem, made up of meristematic cells that can form into stem tissue, leaves, and flowers.

annual ring

The secondary (outward) growth of a tree, usually taking one year. Growth rate and type are affected by the seasons, which results in visible rings.

biennial plant

A plant that sprouts and grows in one season, then flowers, produces seeds, and dies the next season.

bud scale

The protective outer layer of a bud that covers its embryonic leaves and any flowering parts.


A modified stem that is made up of a collection of leaves growing underground from a disc on the stem.


The layer of a root or stem immediately under the epidermis, outside of the endodermis.


A single unbranched stem, topped by a cluster of leaves. This type of branching pattern includes palm trees.

cork cambium

Once a stem has outgrown its original epidermal cell layer, this layer produces protective cork cells.


Plants that shed leaves shortly before winter to conserve energy.


A branching pattern in which there is no dominant stem or bud in the mature plant. This can result in a rounder shape as there is no single dominant branch.

dormant bud

A bud formed in the fall that has survived winter.

elongation region

Located just above the meristematic region, the cells formed there begin to grow and develop.


Root layer that is one cell thick, and forms a barrier that incoming substances must pass through to get to the vascular tissue.


A conical pattern of branches.

inner bark

Made up of secondary phloem and the cortex.

meristematic tissue

Located in the buds, roots, and stems of plants, it is made up of undifferentiated cells that can form any tissue of that particular plant.

meristematic region

Made up of meristematic tissue located at the tip of the root, where the undifferentiated cells are reproducing through mitosis.

maturation region

Located just above the elongation regions, the cells begin to differentiate to form various tissues.

perennial plant

A plant that lives for more than 2 years, or seasons. This includes woody plants and trees.

primary tissue

The tissue above the maturation region that is formed during the primary growth of the root.


A layer of meristematic tissue under the endodermis that can form cork cambium or secondary roots.


The core of a stem, it is composed of undifferentiated cells, and stores food.

pith ray

Undifferentiated cells between vascular bundles, extending from the central pith core.


1) The underground section of a plant, it absorbs water and dissolved minerals, and serves to anchor the plant. 2) The section of the tooth that is embedded into the socket.

root cap

A structure made up of dead cells that protects the meristematic region on the tip of the root.

root hair

Hair-like cellular extensions from the epidermal layer that allow the root to reach and absorb more water.


The horizontal underground stem of a plant.

structural tissue

Tissues such as wood that form the structural support for plants, Composed primarily of cellulose and lignin.

secondary growth

Outward growth that increases the diameter of a plant.


Stem-like structures that grow along the surface of the ground, and serve as a method of propagation for some plants.


A large central root, with many secondary roots branching outward from it.


A specialized stem or leaf used for support, it wraps itself around anything it comes into contact with.


A modified stem that serves as an underground storage system.

vascular tissue

Responsible for carrying water and nutrients throughout a plant.

vascular cylinder

A central column of vascular tissue in a root, made up of xylem and phloem separated by a layer of vascular cambium.

vascular cambium

Meristematic tissue that can form xylem and phloem separated by a layer of vascular cambium.

outer bark

The outer layer of dead cork cells, that is continuously being split by the secondary growth of a tree, and added to by the cork cambium.

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