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Darkfield Microscopy Image Gallery

Basswood

Stained specimens are often excellent candidates for darkfield microscopy, yielding beautiful images that are rendered in color on a dark background. The photomicrograph below illustrates a stained thin section of a basswood tree under darkfield illumination.

The American Basswood is one of the most treasured ornamental trees, having a tall, straight trunk and rounded crown. In the summer, basswood flowers bloom and fill the air with their fragrance as they attract bees to aid in pollination. Basswood is a hardwood that is well-suited for growth in rich and fertile soils of the Northeast United States.

Basswood seeds and twigs are a popular food for wildlife and the flowers smell and taste like honey, attracting over 60 insect pollinators, especially honey bees. The soft, light-colored wood has an even grain, long favored by wood carvers. Native Americans used the fibrous inner bark to make rope, which was used to bind wounds and stitch mats made from cattail leaves.

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