Common horsetail spore, SEM

Common horsetail spore, SEM

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Caption: Common horsetail spore. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a spore of a common horsetail (Equisetum arvense) plant. The spore (green) bears elaters (grey) that expand and contract with changes in humidity. Elaters help to tangle spores together into a clump called a propagule, and to dig spores into the soil. A spore is part of the sexual reproduction of this plant, and horsetails normally use asexual reproduction using rhizomes (underground stems). Horsetails are the only living group of a primitive family of plants, the Sphenopsids, that date back to the Devonian period, 355-410 million years ago. Magnification: x555 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: ancient, botany, coloured, common, devonian, elater, elaters, equisetum arvense, flora, horsetail, nature, plant, primitive, pteridophyte, pteridophytes, reproducing, reproduction, reproductive, scanning electron micrograph, sem, sexual, sphenopsid, sphenopsidia, spore

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