STEVE LOWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE LOWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Polarised light micrograph of a transverse section of the leaf of the Australian xerophyte Hakea drupacea (formerly Hakea suaveolens), also known as sweet Hakea or the sweet scented pincushion. It grows to a height of 6 metres on rocky or stony soil with needle-like leaves and clusters of white flowers. The cross section shows many cells called sclereides which are present in a ring of palisade tissue. These cells provide mechanical support and are important in transporting water between the epidermis and palisade layers. The thick epidermis and the relatively small number of stomata located deep within the epidermis reduce water loss. Magnification: x90 at 10cm wide.
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