Magnolia leaf

Are leaves as smooth as they look like? This leaf was taken from a Magnolia tree from garden Lagunita Court. It is a budding new leaf, and was cut into thin pieces before mounted onto slices. Taking an ideal picture was hard because some parts of the leaf were too thick, and block the light and blurred the image. The final image was posed below.

The rim of a Magnolia is nothing like what it seems like in our normal life: it is not as smooth as newly waxed shoes; instead, it has extended fibers that make the shape of the boundary quite irregular. Actually, by observing the leaf margin, we can divide leaves into two categories — smooth and “teethed” — this image is the latter.

The initial question was solved, but it’s still interesting to think about why leaves developed these fibers around their edge. Does it help the plant detect the environment, like humidity or insects?

The edge of a Magnolia leaf

One Comment Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear Shawn,

    Those hair like structures might be trichome cells!

    Spectacular post.

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