Cell-specific expression patterns of the Eucalyptus gunnii cinnamoyl coenzymeA reductase (EgCCR) and cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (EgCAD2) promoters were analyzed by promoter-GUS histochemistry in the primary and secondary xylem tissues from floral stems and roots of Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression patterns indicated that the EgCCR and EgCAD2 genes were expressed in a coordinated manner in primary and secondary xylem tissues of the Arabidopsis floral stem and root. Both genes were expressed in all lignifying cells (vessel elements, xylem fibers and paratracheal parenchyma cells) of xylem tissues. The capacity for long-term monolignol production appeared to be related to the cell-specific developmental processes and biological roles of different cell types. Our results suggested that lignification of short-lived vessel elements was achieved by a two-step process involving (i) monolignol production by vessel elements prior to vessel programmed cell death and (ii) subsequent monolignol production by vessel-associated living paratracheal parenchyma cells following vessel element cell death. EgCCR and EgCAD2 gene expression patterns suggested that the process of xylem cell lignification was similar in both primary and secondary xylem tissues in Arabidopsis floral stems and roots.