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Macroscopically, it seems to me that the difference between 'lateral' apical buds and 'terminal' apical buds and monopodial and sympodial branching is often rather superficial, if not random. Therefore I'm suprised that such things are sometimes used in identification keys (since in some shrubs and trees, there are no apical buds at all). Does anyone know if in Biology, there is an objective definition of those phenomena, e.g. based on inner workings of a plant or microscopy?

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