Scanning electron micrograph, tinted green, of a leaf skeleton of the common ivy, Hedera helix. The skeleton is left after the soft tissue (mesophyll) has rotted away, & consists of the vascular tissue (veins) of the plant: the xylem, which carries water & minerals from the roots, & the phloem, which takes sugar from the leaves to the rest of the plant. The xylem cells are impregnated with lignin, a polymer resistant to decay & hence surv- iving to form the skeleton. In dicotyledonous plants (with two seed- leaves) the vascular system is a network of increasingly small veins, as here. Magnification: X 4 (35mm). Original is BW print B745/032.
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