Coat of a foxglove seed

Coat of a foxglove seed

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of seeds of the foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), the leaves of which are used to produce the drug digitalin. Digitalin is used in the treatment of heart disease to slow the pulse rate down. One explanation for the highly decorative nature of the seed exterior is that the pits, scales, ridges & other forms of ornamentation increase the chance of germination. Soil particles become trapped in the spaces (as seen here) so that when the seed falls on damp ground the additional weight anchors it enough to allow germination to proceed. Smooth-coated seeds produce a slimy mucilage for the same reason. Mag- nification: X160 at 35mm, X1100 at 8x10-inch size. Foxglove seeds come at 180,000 to the ounce or

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Keywords: botany, digitalis purpurea, foxglove, nature, part, parts, plant, plants, reproduction, reproductive, structure

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