Last Updated: January 26, 2017

Definition - What does Apex mean?

In botany, apex refers to the highest point or vertex of a plant stem or root. The shoot apex is where fresh stems, leaves, and other parts of a plant grow after the old parts fall off or dry up. In some cases, such as monocot stems, the shoot apex tends to be more elongated.

MaximumYield explains Apex

When the shoot apex is elongated, the plant’s leaves will grow around the shoot apex to protect it from adverse weather conditions. Shoot apexes are found in various types of plants, including monocots and dicots. In dicot plants, however, the apex can be shorter.

A root apex contributes to the production of new cells, while boosting the elongation and performance of freshly created cells. Unlike tougher roots, the apex is quite soft and delicate. Consequently, root caps are created to protect the apex when it penetrates the soil. With a cup-like shape, the root apex normally measures around 1 millimeter or less in length.

This definition was written in the context of Horticulture
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