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Parasitic plant. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a parasitic plant Striga gesnerioides(centre) attached to a cowpea stem. The parasite is seen partly inside its seed casing (orange). It attaches to the stem close to the ground and takes water and minerals from the cowpea's roots. However the parasite does contain the green photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll, enabling it to fix atmospheric carbon dioxide to produce nutrients. Striga sp. are important pests of tropical and subtropical crops. Cowpeas are leguminous herbs of the subfamily Papilionoideae. Magnification: x70 at 6x7cm size.
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