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Branched hair in leaf stalk of water lily

Branched hair in leaf stalk of water lily

B725/0124

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a branched trichome in a leaf stalk of the waterlily Nymphaea album. The waterlily has overcome the difficulty of getting air to its submerged roots by having large-diameter hollow tubes within the stalks. These tubes are connected directly to large air spaces in the leaves, which contribute to the plant's buoyancy. The tubes are lined with epidermal cells & studded with trichomes. In this case, the trichome is encrusted with crystals of poisonous calcium oxalate, which probably serves to deter inquisitive burrowing insects. Magnification: x36 at 35mm size. Green tint ("leech"). Reference: MICROCOSMOS, figure 4.17, page 75.

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