Secondary Growth in Stems: Wood, Bark and Surface Features - 1 Secondary Growth in Stems Secondary growth in plants is responsible for the increase in girth or diameter of the plant by the addition of secondary vascular tissue and periderm. All woody plants exhibit extensive secondary growth, but many herbaceous plants have some secondary growth. Secondary growth has commercial value (wood and wood products) for humans and dimensional value for plants, because secondary growth allows for much greater size and volume. Although we focus on secondary growth in stems, roots, too, have secondary growth patterns that parallel the secondary growth of stems. Leaves have minimal, if any, secondary growth, which is generally restricted to strengthening vein tissue. Secondary growth originates from two lateral meristems: vascular cambium, derived from procambium retained in vascular bundles during primary growth, and cork cambium, produced by dedifferentiation of cells in the outer cortex. • Vascular cambium
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