The overall construction of the palm stem is exemplary of all monocotyledons although it is represented in a group of trees with a habit that is rare among other groups of woody monocotyledons such as bamboos, pandans, and arborescent members of Asparagales (e.g. Cordyline, Dracaena, Xanthorrhoea, Yucca). This leads to Hugo von Mohl's dictum that palms exhibit most clearly the characters of monocotyledons and ‘therefore afford the most favourable means of acquiring satisfactory ideas about them’. This chapter discusses palm stem topography, histology, vascular system, vascular pattern, textural differences, one-vessel and two-vessel palms, variation along a single axis, sustained primary growth, wound reactions in palm stems, and stem anatomy in climbing palms.
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