STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Dicotyledon plant stem. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through the stem of a geranium plant (Pelargonium sp.), a typical dicotyledon plant. The centre of the stem is filled with large xylem vessels for transporting water and mineral nutrients from the roots to the main body of the plant. Five bundles of phloem tissue (pale green) serve to distribute carbohydrate and plant hormones around the plant. The xylem and phloem are surrounded by a ring of parenchyma cells (purple). The stem is enclosed by a layer of epidermal cells, some of which are specialised as hair cells or oil glands.
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