cuticle [ KYOO-ti-kuhl ] noun: a protective, waxy or hard film arising from the outer surfaces of epidermal cells
epidermis [ ep–i-DUR-mis ] noun: the thin, outermost layer of cells of a plant
The protective layer of cells that cover the outermost portion of a plant—its roots, stems, flowers, fruits, and seeds—is called an epidermis. The outer surface of epidermal cells usually has a hard or waxy film called a cuticle. The epidermis helps shield the plant from water loss, disease, and other injuries. Woody plants begin their lives as herbaceous plants with an epidermis. As woody plants grow, however, this outer protective tissue is replaced by a periderm.