plant cells compilation

Kathleen Archer Kathleen.Archer at
Wed Sep 13 11:29:14 EST 2000

A subscriber asked to see the list of suggestions I received for viewing
plant cells in class with a hand lens.  Here are most of them, I had
started to clean up my email and may have deleted a few already.

1.  A block of wood from any ring porous wood such as oak will show good cell
outlines.  The large pores are vessel elements and easily visible with the
naked eye or a hand lens.

2. How about using green peppers (Capsicum)?  There are large cells on the
interior wall.

3. With anything made of bamboo you can see the vascular bundles, lacuna, and
xylem cells.  Wooden spoons are nice since they are a common household item.

4. If you can find the moss Mnium or Rhizomnium or Plagiomnium, most members
of these genera have large cells and their single cell layer makes it easy
to see them.  Hookeria is even better, but you are not likely to find it.
Many of the leafy liverworts also have large cells, but usually not the
dark-colored ones.
The backs of hemlock (Tsuga) leaves and several other flat-needled
conifers have rows of stomata that are rather easily seen.  The white
lines are due to the stomata.
Aquatic plants tend to have relatively large cells but may be a problem
because if not in water they soon collapse and become crispy critters.
Cross sections of stems should work well - twigs, Equisetum.


More information about the Plant-ed mailing list