DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abscission layer. Light micrograph of a longitudinal section through a stem from the flame nettle (Solenostemon scutellarioides), showing a developing abscission layer (purple, left). At this point a meristem of cork cambium (phellogen, light purple line) has formed from small cells, which will form a cork layer (phellem). When the leaf falls off this leaf scar of cork prevents the ingress of pathogens, loss of water and insulates the stem against fire damage. Magnification: x45 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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