KENT WOOD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENT WOOD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Smilax root. Light micrograph of a cross-section through a root of the monocotyledon plant, Smilax sp.. The purple cells at centre are the pith surrounded by the pale yellow vessels of the xylem. These large, hollow cells carry water and soil minerals from the root to the leaves. The green area around the xylem are phloem cells which carry sugars and other organic compounds up and down the plant. Outside the phloem is an internal cell barrier, the endodermis (white & red), which waterproofs the internal root. Outside this layer is the root cortex, a storage area whose cells are invisible apart from the specks of stored food (starch grains). Magnification x1225 at 35mm size.
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