DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Water lily leaf. Light micrograph of a transverse section through the leaf of a water lily (Nympha sp.) plant. All aquatic plants (hydrophytes) have a similar structure. The upper epidermis of the leaf has a thin cuticle (top) underneath which is a multi-layered palisade mesophyll. In-between the palisade cells are elongated sclereids (purple) for support. Underneath this is the spongy mesophyll and large intercellular air spaces (lacunae, white). The vascular bundles (dense patches) consist of xylem (red) and phloem (dark-blue ovals). The base of the midrib, under the epidermis, consists of collenchyma cells (dark blue). Magnification: x103 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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