Vascular cambium

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The vascular cambium is a lateral meristem: The vascular cambium is the source of both the secondary xylem (inwards) and the secondary phloem (outwards), and is located between these tissues in the stem and root. A few leaves even have a vascular cambium.[1]

The vascular cambium usually consist of two types of cells:

  • Fusiform initials (tall cells, axially-oriented)
  • Ray initials (almost isodiametric cells - smaller and round to angular in shape)

Vascular cambium is a type of meristem - a tissue consisting of embryonic (incompletely differentiated) cells from which other (and more differentiated) plant tissues originate. Primary meristems are the apical meristems on root tips and shoot tips. Another lateral meristem is the cork cambium, which produces cork, part of the bark.

Vascular cambia are found in dicots and gymnosperms but not monocots, which usually lack secondary growth.

For successful grafting, the vascular cambia of the stock and scion must be aligned so they can grow together.



  • wood cambium
  • main cambium
  • bifacial cambium


  1. Ewers, F.W. 1982. Secondary growth in needle leaves of Pinus longaeva (bristlecone pine) and other conifers: Quantitative data. American Journal of Botany 69: 1552-1559. [1]

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