Surface of a water fern

Surface of a water fern

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Credit: MARTIN OEGGERLI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Surface of a water fern (Azolla sp.), coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The leaves of water ferns support colonies of Anabaena azollae, a blue-green alga that fixes atmospheric nitrogen and enriches the water in which it grows. For this nitrogen-fixing ability, water ferns are grown in rice paddies in India as a fertiliser plant. The roots are unanchored and are generated by multiple divisions in various planes from just one apical cell.

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Keywords: alga, algae, anabaena azollae, anatomical, aquatic, azolla sp., biological, biology, botanical, botany, fern, flora, freshwater, leaf, mutualism, mutualistic, nature, nitrogen fixing, order salviniales, plant, plant anatomy, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, symbiosis, symbiotic, water fern, water plant, waterplant

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