SEM of a leaf of common ivy

SEM of a leaf of common ivy

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a leaf skeleton of the common ivy, Hedera helix, left after the soft tissue (mesophyll) has rotted away. The skeleton is the vascular tissue (veins) of the plant, consisting of the xylem, carrying water & minerals from the roots & the phloem, taking sugar from the leaves to the rest of the plant. The xylem cells are impregnated with lignin, a polymer resistant to decay & hence surviving to form the skeleton. In dicotyledonous plants (having two seed-leaves) the vascular system is an interconnected network of increasingly smaller veins. In monocotyledonous plants (one seed-leaf) the veins run in parallel lines. Mag: X25 (10x8).

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Keywords: botany, common ivy, dicotyledon, hedera helix, ivy, leaf, leaf skeleton, leaves, mesophyll, nature, plant, plants, skeleton, vascular tissue

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