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Many plants have pith, from walnut trees to corn to ragweed, but I can't think of anything it does them. What is pith and how is it useful to them?

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Strange question: did you try to google? The first entry in my search results provides more than complete answer to your question. –  Alexander Galkin Jan 12 '12 at 15:18

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The pith (medulla) forms part of the ground tissue system of a plant, and specifically it is the ground tissue which lies interior to a plants vascular tissues (xylem, phloem etc.)

The ground tissue system is responsible for much of a plants metabolic functioning, and contains various specialized cell types which aid in photosynthesis and storage of photosynthesis products. The pith is made from parenchyma cells.

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