Herbaceous Stem Vocabulary

Stem: a supporting and conducting organ mostly developing from the epicotyl and usually negatively gravitropic

Apical Meristem [See Cytology and Meristems Vocabulary]

Embryonic Axis [See Seeds and Seedlings Vocabulary]

Stem Components
Apical bud: an immature shoot at the stem tip
Axillary bud=
Lateral bud:
an immature shoot found in the axil of the leaf
Bud: an immature shoot
Hypocotyl: the portion of stem between the cotyledon and the root in epigeous species
Internode: the growing portion of the stem between nodes
Node: the non-growing portion of the stem at which leaves attach
Prickle: a sharp-pointed outgrowth of the epidermis or cortex

Mature Stem Parts
Xylem/Phloem Arrangements
Xylem Maturation Patterns
Stele types
[See Root Anatomy Vocabulary]

Shoot Origins
Adventitious: developing from dedifferentiated parenchyma from a root
Apical: developing from the apical meristem of the shoot
developing from an shoot meristem in the axil of a leaf

Growth and Development
Acropetal: developing upward toward the apex
Basipetal: developing downward toward the base
Centrifugal: developing from the inside outward or from apex downward
Centripetal: developing from the outside inward or from bottom upward
Determinate: Growth to a limited size with meristematic activity ceasing thereafter
Indeterminate: Growth continuous with uninterrupted meristematic activity
Long shoots: stems with normal growth in internodes
Short shoots: stems with very short internodes

Branching patterns
Dichotomous: branching into two equal parts
Flabellate: branching forming a fan-shape
Monopodial: branching with a main axis and reduced laterals
Sympodial: branching without a main axis but with many more-or-less equal laterals

Specialized Stem Types
Basal Plate of 
Scaly Bulb:
a short erect underground stem usually surrounded by fleshy leaves
Cladode: a flattened main stem resembling a leaf
Corm: an upright underground fleshy storage stem
Culm: flowering stem of grasses
Rhizome: a horizontal underground stem
Scape: a naked flowering stem usually from corms or bulbs
Spur: a short shoot producing flowers
Stolon: a generally-leafless aboveground stem
Tendril: a long, slender, coiling stem adapted for climbing (but most are leaf-derived)
Tiller: a grass shoot produced from the base of a stem
Tuber: a swollen stem at the end of a rhizome

This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.

The CBE citation style for this page would be: Koning, Ross E. 1994. "Herbaceous Stem Vocabulary". Plant Physiology Website. http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/plant_biology/stemvocab.html (your visit date)

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