Types of stems

Classification of a stem

Herbaceous stems:

They do not have developed ligneous stiffened structures. They are generally frail. We find them in plants like the following:


Annual plants: Plants with a year life-time. Weeds generally belong to this group.

Vivacious plants: Plants with aerial stems lasting a single season, but keeping underground structures from which new stems spring again next seas on.

tiges herbacies

tiges vivacies

Ligneous stems:

They have developed rigid, stiffened structures, what we normally know as “wood”. According to the height they attain we classify them into:

Trees: Plants with ligneous stems, with a superior height of five meters. In this case we call the stems trunks. They do not generally branch up to a considerable distance from the soil.

More information about trees / Fruit trees/ How to plant a tree

tree stems

Shrubs: Are those plants with ligneous stems, from one to five meters tall. In this case, branching begins at soil level.


Bushes: Ligneous plants shorter than one meter tall.


Characteristics of the stemGo back to main page “The stems”

Stem: Types 1To know more about “The stems”

punto rojo More information about plants cultivation.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

Article updated on: 22 April, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.