DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Common broom stem. Light micrograph of a transverse section through the stem of a common broom (Salicornia europaea) plant. Broom is a drought plant (xerophyte) with ribbed stems and branches to increase the area for photosynthesis. The ribs (spikes) contain spongy mesophyll (pink), similar to a leaf, in the centre and ends of which are supporting bundles of fibres (sclerenchyma, black-brown). The stem has undergone secondary thickening to produce a ring of xylem (dark brown). Above the xylem is the cambium (red ring) and above this is the phloem (red patches). In the centre of the stem is the pith made up of parenchyma cells (pink). Magnification: x46 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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