by Brian Darnton & Wim van Egmond


Scales of Deutzia scabra


The glories of star shaped objects are not only confined to the exponents of the telescope in outer space. There are numerous objects that can rival them in the inner space of our microscopic world. Amongst the wealth of slides that survive from the Victorian era, stellate objects are perhaps some of the most wondrous. Their appeal is enhanced by the use of a dark background, imparted by the polariscope, or by a dark ground stop in the filter tray, or by the use of a spot lens directed from above.



Deutzia scabra is a common enough shrub in Northern Europe with delightful white flowers in the summer. Star shaped scales protect both the upper and the lower epidermis of the leaves. These can be scraped off, desiccated and mounted in balsam, but by far the best mounts are created by stripping off the leaf epidermis, clearing it and mounting in Canada balsam. In crossed polars these objects are truly bright and splendid.

Comments to the authors
Comments to the author sent via our contacts page quoting page url plus : ('bdarnton','')">Brian Darnton and Comments to the author sent via our contacts page quoting page url plus : ('wegmond','')">Wim van Egmond are welcomed.

More pictures of microscopic subjects can be found on Wim's HOME PAGE and Brian's HOME PAGE

Microscopy UK Front Page
Micscape Magazine
Article Library

All photographs Wim van Egmond

Published in the December 2000 edition of Micscape Magazine.

Please report any Web problems or offer general comments to the Micscape Editor,
via the contact on current Micscape Index.

Micscape is the on-line monthly magazine of the Microscopy UK web
site at Microscopy-UK

© Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at with full mirror at