Difference Between Vascular And Cork Cambium

Cork is a protective tissue found in the outer bark of woody stems and roots, while the vascular cambium is a meristematic tissue responsible for secondary growth in plants.

Cork cells are dead at maturity and are characterized by their suberized cell walls, providing waterproofing and insulation. Vascular cambium, on the other hand, consists of living cells that divide to produce secondary xylem (wood) and secondary phloem.

What is Vascular Cambium?

Vascular cambium is a type of lateral meristem found in the stems and roots of woody plants. It is responsible for secondary growth, leading to an increase in girth or thickness.

The cambium produces xylem cells towards the inside and phloem cells towards the outside, aiding in the transportation of water, nutrients, and sugars throughout the plant. This continuous cell division and differentiation allow the plant to develop new annual growth rings.

What is Cork Cambium?

Cork cambium, also known as phellogen, is a lateral meristem found in the outer bark of woody plants. Cork cambium is a type of lateral meristem found in the outer bark of woody plants. It is responsible for producing cork cells, which form the protective outer layer of the plant’s stem.

As the cork cells accumulate, they replace the epidermis and provide the plant with increased protection against external threats such as pathogens, physical damage, and water loss. This process contributes to the secondary growth of the plant.

Vascular vs Cork Cambium

      FeatureVascular CambiumCork Cambium
LocationFound in the vascular bundles of stems and roots.The cambial ring formed between xylem and phloem.
OriginDerived from the procambium during primary growth.Derived from the cork cambium or phellogen during secondary growth.
Tissue ProducedSecondary xylem (wood) towards the inside of the stem.Cork (phellem) towards the outside of the stem.
Cell TypesProduces both xylem and phloem cells.Produces cork cells.
FunctionIncreases the girth or diameter of the stem.Provides protection and prevents water loss.
Growth TypeLateral (expands in width).Lateral (expands in width).
ActivityActive during the entire life of the plant.Active during secondary growth.
CharacteristicsComposed of thin-walled cells.Composed of thick-walled cells.
FormationA single layer of cells produced outwardly.A single layer of cells is produced outwardly.
Role in BarkForms the secondary vascular tissues of the plant.Forms the outermost protective layer of the bark.

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