By Ian Walker. United Kingdom.
The following images were taken on the JNOEC XPT-7 Polarising Microscope and Nikon Coolpix 4500 digicam from a collection of Brunel Microscopes
plant section slides.
[All images using the JNOEC 10x NA 0.25 Achromat and an old Baker non-compensating 5x eyepiece].
Fern leaf section in brightfield and polarised light, ferns were a prominent form of plant life during the Carboniferous period many millions of years ago
and today can be found in numerous different forms from 'tree-like' with trunks 80 feet tall to tiny fronds only a few cells thick. The remains of fern forests
contribute to the formation of our coal beds today.
Pine leaf cross-section. Pine trees are primarily found in the northern temperate regions and have many uses including the production of turpentine,
paper products, oils and wood tars. Pines are evergreen conifers and although they are classified as softwoods, commercially they are graded into
soft and hard pines which dictate their use.
Monocotyledon stem cross-section, typical examples are the flowering plants lilies, orchids and irises. The name comes from
mono [single] cotyledon, the cotyledon is the primary or seed-leaf in the embryo of a seed.
Pollen germinating, due to resistance of decay and distribution by wind across the world, pollen can be found in geologic sediments both ancient and modern
and are very useful in providing us with information on the history of terrestial plant life. Pollen comes in many different forms and due to their detailed surface
structures make an excellent microscopical subject.
Woody dicotyledon stem cross-section [taken at 3 years] in brightfield and polarised light. Many common garden plants are dicotyledon
including magnolias, roses and geraniums. Dicotyledon have two cotyledons or seed-leaves within the embryo contained in the seed. Most
plant material containing 'woody' parts will be attractive under polarised light as shown above.
Longitudinal section of the stem tip of Hydrilla verticillata, an invasive aquatic plant.
Lily anther section showing the pollen contained within.
Part of the 'umbrella' of a mushroom in section. Mushroom is the common term for the fruiting body or sporophore of fungi. Over the years
some interesting names have been given to mushrooms including beefsteak fungus, sulfur fungus, cauliflower fungus, the horn-of-plenty
mushroom, puffballs, stinkhorns, earthstars and bird's nest fungi!
Part of a corn seed in longitudinal section, polarised light.
Comments to the author, Ian
Walker, are welcomed.
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