STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Woody stem section. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through a stem of a woody plant. At upper centre is the pith (orange), which consists of soft, spongy parenchyma cells, and is located in the center of the stem. It is encircled by a ring of primary xylem (cream), then a secondary xylem (brown), and then outside that, a ring of phloem (beige). The outer tissue of the stem (top and bottom corners) is the bark. The xylem transports water and mineral nutrients from the roots throughout the plant, while the phloem transports carbohydrates and plant hormones around the plant. Magnification: x40 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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