What Is Periderm?

Are you curious to know what is periderm? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about periderm in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is periderm?

In the world of plants, a remarkable adaptation called periderm plays a crucial role in protecting and preserving the delicate tissues beneath. Periderm, also known as the bark, is a protective tissue that forms in the outer layers of woody stems and roots. This resilient covering shields plants from external factors such as pathogens, mechanical damage, and fluctuations in temperature. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of periderm, its structure, functions, and significance in the life of plants.

What Is Periderm?

Periderm is a secondary tissue that develops in woody plants as they mature. It replaces the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of young stems and roots. As the plant grows, the periderm serves as a durable and protective barrier, helping plants withstand environmental stressors and ensuring their long-term survival.

Structure Of Periderm:

The periderm consists of three distinct layers:

  1. Cork Cells: The outermost layer of the periderm is composed of dead cells called cork cells. These cells are rich in suberin, a waxy substance that makes them impermeable to water and gases. The cork cells are tightly packed and form a continuous protective layer that prevents excessive water loss, provides insulation, and shields the plant from pathogens and physical damage.
  2. Cork Cambium: Located beneath the cork cells is the cork cambium, also known as phellogen. It is a layer of actively dividing cells that generates new cork cells to replace the outermost layers as they mature and are sloughed off. The cork cambium also produces cells towards the interior, contributing to the growth in girth of the stem or root.
  3. Phelloderm: The innermost layer of the periderm is the phelloderm, a thin layer of living parenchyma cells. The phelloderm plays a role in wound healing and can contribute to secondary growth by producing new cells in response to damage or other stimuli.

Functions And Significance:

  1. Protection: The primary function of the periderm is to provide a protective barrier for the underlying tissues of the plant. The cork cells’ impermeability to water and gases helps reduce water loss through evaporation and prevents pathogens from entering the plant’s interior. The periderm also acts as a shield against physical damage caused by abrasion, herbivory, or extreme weather conditions.
  2. Insulation: The suberin-rich cork cells of the periderm provide insulation against temperature fluctuations. They help regulate the exchange of heat and minimize the impact of extreme cold or heat on the plant’s sensitive tissues.
  3. Secondary Growth: The activity of the cork cambium within the periderm contributes to secondary growth in woody plants. By producing new cork cells and cells towards the interior, the cork cambium allows stems and roots to increase in girth, accommodating the plant’s growth over time.
  4. Wound Healing: In response to injury or damage, the periderm plays a role in wound healing. The cork cambium and phelloderm can generate new cells to seal off wounds, preventing the entry of pathogens and facilitating tissue repair.


Periderm, with its remarkable structure and functions, is an essential component of the protective system in woody plants. It safeguards the plant’s vital tissues, enabling them to withstand the challenges posed by the environment. As we marvel at the beauty and resilience of plants, let us appreciate the significance of periderm—the unsung hero that ensures their survival and longevity.

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What Is Periderm In Botany?

The periderm acts as armor protecting the plant’s inner tissues from biotic and abiotic stress. It forms during the radial thickening of plant organs such as stems and roots and replaces the function of primary protective tissues such as the epidermis and the endodermis.

What Is Periderm With Example?

In botany, the term periderm is the outer covering of certain plants, especially woody plants. It is the outermost layer of the bark made up of cork cells, cork cambium, and phelloderm. It replaces the epidermis of the stems and roots of woody plants.

What Is Periderm And Bark?

Periderm is a term used to describe the phellem, phellogen and phelloderm collectively. It is the outer bark of the tree. The phellogen generates the periderm.

What Are Periderm And Lenticels?

Lenticels are spongy openings in the periderm that allow for gas diffusion into and out of the stem or root. The phellogen only lives for one growing season and must arise de novo each year.

Do All Plants Have Periderm?

While periderm is formed in many seed plants—gymnosperms, woody dicots, and numerous herbaceous flowering plants with extensive secondary growth—it does not develop in monocots.

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