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cork cambium (phellogen) A type of cambium arising within the outer layers of the stems of woody plants, usually as a complete ring surrounding the inner tissues. The cells of the cork cambium divide to produce an outer corky tissue (cork or phellem) and an inner secondary cortex (phelloderm). Cork, cork cambium, and phelloderm together make up the periderm, an impermeable outer layer that protects the inner stem tissues if the outer tissues split as the stem girth increases with age. It thus takes over the functions of the epidermis.
cork cambium See PHELLOGEN.