The stem is the ascending part of the axis bearing branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. It develops from the plumule of the embryo of a germinating seed. The stem bears nodes and internodes. The region of the stem where leaves are born are called nodes while internodes are the portions between two nodes. The stem bears buds, which may be terminal or axillary. Stem is generally green when young and later often become woody and dark brown.
The main function of the stem is spreading out branches bearing leaves, flowers and fruits. It conducts water, minerals and photosynthates. Some stems perform the function of storage of food, support, protection and of vegetative propagation.