Let us look at what meristematic tissues are.

Take 2 onions and put them in 2 separate jars as shown below


Observe how the roots grow each day for 3 days

Now, cut the root tips of the onion in both the jars and observe the growth for another 3 days.

What do you observe?

We observe that plant growth is restricted to certain regions , in this case, the roots.

This is because the dividing tissues responsible for growth is present only in these regions

These dividing tissues are called meristematic tissues .


Characteristics of meristematic tissues




All cells are similar with thin cell wall made of cellulose


Spherical, oval, polygonal, rectangular 

Cellular arrangement

Compact without intercellular space (no space between cells)

Cellular content

They have dense cytoplasm and single large nucleus

Few or no vacuoles at all


Tips of roots and shoot, bark or stem, base of leaves etc.


Based on their positions, meristematic tissues can be classified further.

Types of Meristematic tissues based on positions


Apical Meristem

  • They are present at the growing apices (tips) of stems and roots and sometimes leaves as well
  • They increase the length of the roots and shoot
  • This results in increase in height of the plant
  • This is called primary growth

2. Lateral Meristem

  • They are also called Cambium
  • They increase the girth or thickness of the root or bark/ stem
  • This is called secondary growth

3. Intercalary Meristem

  • It is present at the base of the leaves or internodes (on either side of the node) on twigs
  • It increases the length of an organ like internode or leaves
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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 14 years and a teacher from the past 18 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo