bud, in lower plants and animals, a protuberance from which a new organism or limb develops; in seed plants, a miniaturized twig bearing compressed rudimentary lateral stems (branches), leaves, or flowers, or all three, and protected in cold climates by overlapping bud scales. In warm climates buds may grow all year; in temperate climates they grow in summer and remain dormant in the winter. The form of winter buds (particularly the larger terminal buds on twigs) of trees and shrubs may be used to identify the species. The "eyes" of a potato are undeveloped buds. See budding; stem.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.