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Brightfield Digital Image Gallery

Spiderwort Leaf Epidermis

Spiderwort is a common name for approximately 35 plants of the genus Tradescantia, which are also known as the "Wandering Jew", and are highly prized and traded for their ornamental value. The digital image featured below was captured from a stained thin section of spiderwort leaf epidermis tissue with the MIC-D digital microscope operating in brightfield mode.

View a low magnification image of a Spiderwort Leaf Epidermis.

The epidermis is an important surface tissue of plants that lack lateral meristems, and is commonly only a single cell-layer thick. Magnified views of spiderwort epidermis thin sections reveal two types of cell, including the tightly interlocked epidermal cells and guard cells, which always occur in pairs. Also present are trichomes, specialized epidermal cells that appear as hairs on the surface of the plant. Trichomes can be either unicellular or multicellular and have evolved to perform a variety of functions, such as disrupting insect behavior, stinging larger animals, and reflecting light.

Contributing Authors

Cynthia D. Kelly, Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.


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