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Meristem is a type of tissue in plants consisting of unspecialized, youthful cells called meristematic cells and found in areas of the plant where growth is or will take place. Differentiated plant cells have shapes and structures that would make it problematic for them to produce cells of a different type; thus, cellular divisions of the basic cells of the meristem provide new cells for expansion of tissues. Meristematic cells are analogous in function to stem cells in animals, are incompletely or not at all differentiated, and are capable of continued cellular division (youthful).

The most general form of meristem is the apical meristem, found in buds at the tips of shootss and roots. Apical meristem is completely undifferentiated. It differentiates into three different kinds of primary meristem:

The vascular cambium and cork cambium are called lateral meristems because they surround the established stem.