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In plants, region of cells capable of division and growth. Meristems are classified by location as apical, or primary (at root and shoot tips), lateral, or secondary (in the vascular cambium and cork cambium), or intercalary (at internodes, stem regions between the places at which leaves attach, and at leaf bases, especially in certain monocots, e.g., grasses). Apical meristems give rise to the primary plant body. Lateral meristems provide increase in stem girth. Injured tissues can convert other cells to new meristem for wound healing.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on meristem, visit Britannica.com.