Stems are one of the important parts of a plant. The plant shoot system is made up of stems and leaves. Stems support the plant. Stems store nutrients, carbohydrates and water . Stems are a transport link to and from roots and leaves. They transport water and sugar to leaves and roots.
There are two main types of stems, herbaceous and woody. Some plants have herbaceous stems. Herbaceous stems are thin, soft, green, short-lived, and contain little or no wood. These stems also carry out photosynthesis and produce sugar for the plant. They don’t usually grow more than one meter tall. Woody stems are those ones which are not herbaceous. The epidermis protects the stem. The xylem and phloem transport tissues in the stem. In the middle of the stem is the pith which is an area for storage and supports the plant.
Herbaceous and woody stems have primary growth. Stems grow in length and thickness by laying down layers of cells. As active cells produce new cells at the tip of the stem, the length of the stem increases. Stems are important to plants because they have responsibilities in plant growth.