A bud is a small portion of a plant that sticks out from the stem and develops into a flower, leaf, or shoot system. It has the potential to get differentiated into definitive organs or parts and become separated from the meristematic tissue. Usually, buds are formed on either the tips of stems or at the base of leaves
The anatomy of a bud involves an outer layer that is wrapped tightly and densely around the whole bud and overlaps with the inner leaves that are folded inside. The outer leaves are very strong, so they can protect the weaker inner layer from things like bird and insect damage, dry conditions, and extreme temperatures.
The growth of buds gives plants a great advantage, especially during spring months, because the leaves inside of the buds can open quickly in good weather. Once these leaves are exposed to sunlight, they’re able to photosynthesize when needed.
Another advantage to buds is that they serve as a source of food for humans and other animals. Cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli are some examples.
Sometimes, a bud will contain both young leaves and flowers. When this occurs, it is commonly referred to as a mixed bud.
Buds are classified based on several criteria such as morphology, location, and function. The types of buds that are categorized based on their functions are as follows:
- Vegetative: Buds that give rise to flowers are termed flower buds or fruit buds
- Reproductive: If a bud grows into a leafy shoot, it is called a leaf bud or branch bud
The types of buds that are categorized based on their locations are as follows:
- Terminal: A bud that is located at the tip of the stem, or the apical
- Axillary: A bud that is located in the axil of a leaf, or the lateral
- Adventitious: A bud that is located elsewhere, like the trunk or roots
The types of buds that are categorized based on their morphology are as follows:
- Covered: Scales cover and protect the bud
- Naked: Buds are not covered by scales
- Hairy: Buds are protected by hairs