Wood of a primitive conifer, Auracaria

Wood of a primitive conifer, Auracaria

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: Light micrograph (radial longitudinal section) of the wood of a primitive conifer, Auracaria cunninghamia, the monkey puzzle tree. The micrograph shows pits (yellow & blue spots) within the tracheids (cylinder cells). Tracheids are relatively primitive, non-living cells of the xylem. They are elongated with tapering ends & have thick lignified walls. They provide mechanical support & conduct water for the plant. Pits are cavities in the tracheids, which allow exchange of substances between adjacent cells. The thinner cross walls here are medullary rays. For a fossil ancestor of this conifer see E440/037. Magnification X40 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: araucaria cunninghamia, botany, conifer, gymnosperm, gymnosperms, light micrograph, monkey puzzle, nature, pit, plant, radial longitudinal section, tracheid, tree, xylem

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