False-colour SEM of a leaf skeleton

False-colour SEM of a leaf skeleton

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Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a leaf skeleton of the common ivy, Hedera helix, 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, which survives in skeleton form. In dicotyledonous plants (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. Magnification: x5 at 6x4.5cm size

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

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