difference between epidermis and cork

Difference Between Epidermis and Cork Cells

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Plants that we observe around us are usually multicellular. They perform several life processes such as growth, respiration, excretion, etc; similar to those performed by animals.

There are different types of plant cells. Dermal tissue is one of the plant cells. Dermal (dermis)tissue usually consists of a single layer of tissues showing variations in the types of cells on the basis of their functions and location. These tissues are divided into three different types. They are the epidermis, mesoderm, endodermis.


  • Epidermis is a single layer of cells covering the plant body.
  • The entire surface of a plant has an outer covering epidermis.
  • These cells are relatively flat.
  • It gives protection against water loss, mechanical injury and invasion by parasitic fungi.
  • Cells of epidermal tissue form a continuous layer without intercellular space.
  • Epidermis cells on the aerial parts of the plant often secrete a waxy, water resistant chemical, known as caution.

What happens to the epidermis when plants grow old?

As plants grow older the secondary meristem located in the cortex forms layers of cells that constitute the Cork.

Cork cells:

Cells of cork are dead and compactly arranged without intercellular spaces. They have substances called suberin in their walls that make them impervious to gases and water.

Let’s summarize difference between Epidermis and cork cells:

Difference Between Epidermis and Cork cells:

Epidermis cell Cork cell
It refers to the outermost layer of cells on the primary plant body. It refers to the outermost layer of the secondary stem & roots.
Occur during both primary and secondary growth of plants. Occur during secondary growth.
Cover the whole plant body during primary growth. Absent during primary growth.
Living cells Non-living cells
It consists
Consist of a single layer of cells. Consists of multiple layers of cells.
Secrete cutin Secrete suberin
Can be found in
Found in all types of plants. Found in woods & many dicots and some monocots.

Bottom line:

As a result of the preceding discussion, we can conclude that Epidermis and cork are two types of cells in the cell’s outermost layer. During primary growth, epidermis cells form a single layer that covers the entire plant body. Cork cells are produced by the cork cambium during the secondary growth of plants.

Water-repellent substances are found in both epidermis and cork cells, which help to prevent water loss from the plant body. The presence of each type of cell in the plant body is the primary distinction between epidermis and cork cells.

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