Apical and differentiating meristem of a broccoli flower bud (Brassica oleracea italica), coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Shown here is the tip of a small broccoli flower bud with actively dividing apical meristem tissue along the leading edges of the bud (top of image). Apical meristems are the completely undifferentiated (indeterminate) meristems in a plant. At the meristem summit there is a small group of slowly dividing cells which is commonly called the central zone. Cells of this zone have a stem cell function and are essential for meristem maintenance. A short distance away the meristem cells begin to differentiate and stomata can be seen developing in to epidermal cells that contain stomata (bottom of image). Broccoli possesses numerous fleshy flower heads (usually green in colour) arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches growing from a thick stalk. Magnification: x100 when shortest axis printed at 25.
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