External Organization of a Plant Shoot

Don’t worry, the Plants in my Apartment series will continue, I just didn’t get the post written in time for this week so I though I’d try something different.

Lately I’ve been reading through a botany textbook to see if plants are something I’d like to study a bit more seriously. After the first few chapters that reviewed the basics of life, the cell, and organic chemistry I’ve finally gotten to the more interesting, plant specific chapters. The last chapter I read covered the tissues and primary growth of stems. I found that a large portion of the chapter was spent on plant parts that I already knew existed and had observed in my garden, but didn’t have terms for.

It is very weird (and very nice) to suddenly find out what something I’ve known for so long is actually called. I decided to share some of that nice weirdness, or weird niceness with you. The following are some of the new and useful terms I learned this chapter. You may be familiar with some of them (like I was), know all of them (Wow, look at you!), or know none of them (Yay learning!). Either way I hope you find this at least a little interesting.


Labeled drawing of a plant shoot.

Shoot – stem and leaves/flowers/buds

Stem – the main axis

Nodes – where leaves are attached

Internodes – space between the nodes

Leaf axil – the stem above where the leaf attaches

Axillary bud – bud in the leaf axil (contains dormant apical meristem and several leaves)

Apical meristem – tips of shoots where new growth occurs (can’t be seen in drawing)

Bud scales – corky, waxy modified leaves that cover and protect axillary buds

Terminal bud – the bud at the extreme tip of each stem

Leaf scar – the mark left when a leaf falls off

I haven’t decided whether I’ll be doing more posts about what I learn in the botany book so I’d love input. If you’d like to see more, or definitely DO NOT, please let me know in the comments!





2 thoughts on “External Organization of a Plant Shoot

  1. Pingback: External Organization of a Plant Root | Experiment No. 1

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