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In woody plants, tissues outside of the vascular cambium. The term is also used more popularly to refer to all tissues outside the wood. The inner soft bark is produced by the vascular cambium; it consists of secondary phloem (food-conducting) tissue whose innermost layer transports food from the leaves to the rest of the plant. The layered outer bark contains cork and old, dead phloem. The bark is usually thinner than the woody part of the stem or root.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bark, visit Britannica.com.