Saturday, November 24, 2018

7 Anatomical Differences Between Stem And Root Cross Section

In some cases, stems and roots look identical. So what's the difference between a stem and root cross section?

One may be easily tempted to say that stems are above ground and roots below ground, that's not entirely true. One huge difference is that stems bear leaves while roots don't bear leaves.

After reading this article, you'll be well-prepared to develop a beautiful plant garden on your property that is edged nicely with brick or some other material.

Differences Between Stem And Root Cross Section

Here are some of the ways in which you can differentiate between stems and roots. Let's start by defining the two:


This is the part of a plant that lies above the surface of the soil. It's known to rise from the plumule to the embryo.

A stem shows positively phototropic and negative geotropic growth. They consist of both nodes and internodes. Flowers, branches, leaves and bracts are developed from nodes.


The root is the part of a plant that lies below the surface of the soil. It's known to rise from the radical of the embryo.

Roots show positively geotropic and negatively phototropic growth. It should be noted that roots are not divided into nodes and internodes.

Similarities between stems and roots

Both contain vascular tissues, namely xylem and phloem, which act as the circulatory system of the plant.

Both stems and roots are capable of initiating lateral growth, which means they are able to form branches.

Differences between stems and roots

1. Vascular Tissues

In herbaceous stems, vascular tissues are contained in bundles which sit near the surface of the stem.

In roots, the vascular tissues are known to form a central location or core where they protect themselves from harsh conditions.

2. Origin of Branches

In stems, side branches are known to arise from axillary buds. These buds can be found where the leaf attaches to the stem.

Lateral roots on the other hand rise from deep within the root's tissues. Roots don't have buds and nodes.

3. Epidermal Cells

In stems, epidermal cells are cutinized inside the stem. In roots, epidermal cells are not cutinized.

4. Epidermis Function

The function of the epidermis in stems is to protect. In roots, the function of the epidermis is to absorb water and nutrients.

5. Root Hairs

In stems, root hairs are unicellular or multicellular. In roots, root hairs are always unicellular.

6. Hypodermis

The hypodermis is present in stems while absent in roots.

7. Outer Cortical Cells

Outer cortical cells in stems have chloroenchyma, while it's completely absent in roots.

These are some of the notable differences between stems and roots.

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