DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mahogany wood structure. Polarised light micrograph of a longitudinal tangential section through a woody stem (xylem) of a mahogany (Swietenia sp.) tree, showing the medullary rays (purple circles with yellow walls). These are full of living wood parenchyma cells. In-between the rays are long xylem tracheid cells (green-orange-blue) which are dead but carry water and mineral salts. The section has cut through a xylem vessel (bright orange-yellow walls) showing scalariform (ladder-like) pits for water to pass laterally. Magnification: x46 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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