Noted: Electronic microscope photo of mint via Emma the Gardener

Electronic microscope photo of mint via Emma the Gardener

Electronic microscope photo of mint via Emma the Gardener

This isn’t a fantasy alien landscape, its an image of a mint leaf, taken with a scanning electron microscope by Annie Cavanagh. This low-res version is available from Wellcome Images with a Creative Commons license, which allows me to show you how awesome plants are. The spike is a trichome (a hair, essentially). The blobs are oil, sitting on oil glands, and are what gives mint is delicious flavour. The oval structures that look a bit like seeds scattered on the surface, are stomata, the holes that the plant can open and close to regulate its intake of carbon dioxide and the expulsion of oxygen. You can just see the slits along the centre, which is where they would open up.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

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