A bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot that may grow into a flower, leaf, or branch. Buds are formed from meristem tissue, which is a group of cells that can divide and differentiate into various plant organs. Buds can be found at the tip of a stem (terminal bud) or in the angle between a leaf and a stem (axillary bud). Buds are often protected by modified leaves called scales that enclose the delicate parts of the bud. Buds can remain dormant for some time, or they can sprout immediately depending on the environmental conditions. Buds are useful for identifying trees in winter when there are no leaves or flowers.
Buds can be classified into different types based on their location, structure, and function. For example, flower buds are modified leaves that produce flowers, while leaf buds produce leaves or branches. Some plants, such as redbud trees, have both types of buds on the same stem.