Definition - What does Bud mean?

A bud is an embryonic plant shoot. Most buds are classified according to several different criteria such as location and function. Generally most buds are formed on the tips of stems or at the base of leaves. Buds can develop into flowers or small shoots, and can also contribute to general shoot growth.

MaximumYield explains Bud

Physiologically, a bud is a condensed shoot. It has a very short stem and its leaves are wrapped tightly and densely around it, overlapping, with the inner leaves folded and compacted inside. The outer leaves are tough and thick, serving as protection for the delicate foliage inside. These resilient outer leaves protect the inner leaves from possible bird and insect damage, drying up, and extreme temperatures.

The growth of buds give plants a great advantage, especially during spring months, because the leaves that reside inside of the buds can open very rapidly when the weather is favorable. This allows the plant to have readily available leaves to use for photosynthesis. Additionally, buds serve as a source of food for humans and other animals. Cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli are all examples of buds that form the edible portion of crops.

Buds are often classified through several different criteria. These criteria can include morphology, location, and function. For example, some of the most well known types of buds (terminal, axillary, and adventitious) are location classifications, such as:

  • Terminal buds are buds located at the tip of a stem
  • Axillary buds are buds located at the base (or axil) of a leaf
  • Adventitious buds are buds that occur on other parts of a plant
This definition was written in the context of Horticulture
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