Spore of field horsetail

Spore of field horsetail

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Caption: False colour scanning electron micrograph of spores of the field horsetail, Equisetum arvense. The horsetail is the only living type of a primitive family of plants, the Sphenopsids, that were predominant at the formation of the coal measures. The vegetative stems are produced from underground rhizomes & the leaves are reduced to toothed sheaths at the leaf joints. Fertile shoots bear conelike sporangia, carrying the spores, which in this species appear in Spring. The picture shows a moist spore bound tightly by their elators, or bands of thickened cells. As the spores dry out, the elators unfurl, tossing the spores out of the sporangium. Mag: X 320 at 35mm. Original is BW print b450/029.

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Keywords: botany, bound, elator, equisetum arvense, horsetail, nature, plant, pteridophyte, pteridophytes, scanning electron micrograph, sem, sphenopsid, spore

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