Intercalary meristem – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Botanical Glossary

I. What is an intercalary meristem?

Intercalary meristems are regions of actively dividing cells found in the stems and leaves of plants. These meristems are responsible for the growth and elongation of plant organs, allowing them to increase in length. Unlike apical meristems, which are located at the tips of roots and shoots, intercalary meristems are found in the middle or intercalary regions of plant organs.

II. Where are intercalary meristems located in plants?

Intercalary meristems are commonly found in grasses and other monocotyledonous plants. In grasses, intercalary meristems are located at the base of the leaves, between the leaf blade and the sheath. This allows the grass to continue growing even after the tip of the leaf has been removed or damaged. In dicotyledonous plants, intercalary meristems can also be found in the stems, allowing for secondary growth and increased plant height.

III. How do intercalary meristems contribute to plant growth?

Intercalary meristems play a crucial role in plant growth by continuously adding new cells to the plant organs. These meristems are responsible for cell division and elongation, allowing the plant to increase in length. In grasses, intercalary meristems are particularly important for regrowth after grazing or mowing, as they can quickly produce new cells to replace those that have been removed.

IV. What are the characteristics of intercalary meristems?

Intercalary meristems are characterized by their location in the middle or intercalary regions of plant organs. These meristems are composed of small, densely packed cells that are actively dividing. Unlike apical meristems, which are responsible for primary growth, intercalary meristems contribute to secondary growth and elongation of plant organs. Additionally, intercalary meristems are capable of producing different types of cells, allowing for the formation of various tissues within the plant.

V. How do intercalary meristems differ from apical meristems?

Intercalary meristems differ from apical meristems in terms of their location and function. While apical meristems are located at the tips of roots and shoots and are responsible for primary growth, intercalary meristems are found in the middle or intercalary regions of plant organs and contribute to secondary growth. Additionally, apical meristems produce cells that differentiate into various tissues, while intercalary meristems primarily produce new cells for elongation and growth.

VI. What is the importance of intercalary meristems in plant development?

Intercalary meristems play a crucial role in plant development by allowing for continuous growth and elongation of plant organs. These meristems are particularly important in grasses and other monocotyledonous plants, where they enable rapid regrowth after grazing or mowing. In dicotyledonous plants, intercalary meristems contribute to secondary growth and increased plant height. Overall, intercalary meristems are essential for the overall growth and development of plants, ensuring that they can adapt to their environment and continue to thrive.