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Fennel. Light micrograph of a thinly sliced section across a fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) stem. An outer layer (green) surrounds the softer internal tissue (some missing) that is supported by a ring of vascular bundles (oval). The bundles contain the xylem (bundles of hollow tubes) and phloem (cloudy tissue). The phloem is on the outer edges of the vascular bundles, while the xylem is on the inner edges. These tissues transport water & minerals, and nutrients respectively. The leaves and seeds of this plant are used to flavour food, and the swollen leaf bases are eaten as a vegetable. Darkfield illumination. Magnification: x7.5 at 6x7cm size.
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