Leaf stalk of the water lily, Nymphaea

Leaf stalk of the water lily, Nymphaea

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph, oblique view showing the hollow tubes of a leaf petiole (stalk) of the water lily Nymphaea album. The water lily has overcome the difficulty of getting air to its submerged roots by having large diameter open tubes within the leaf petiole. These hollow tubes are connected directly to large air spaces in the leaves, which contribute to the plant's bouyancy. The tubes are lined with epidermal cells & studded with branched trichomes (hairs). Some tubes contain crystals of calcium oxalate (not seen). There function is unknown. Oxalate is poisonous & may act as a deterrent to burrowing animals. Mag: X60 (10x8 size).

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Keywords: botany, calcium oxalate, leaf, leaf stalk, nature, nymphaea album, petiole, plant, plants, scanning electron micrograph, sem, trichome, water lily

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