Tepal epidermis

You might have seen this earlier post by Cristina on plant histology. I loved the jigsaw pattern on the leaf epidermis and wanted to see epidermal patterns in other plants and their structures. One of the flowers that one sees in early spring in the DC area are the magnolias. This one in the picture below is Magnolia stellate, a native of Japan with a sweet smell and over 20 tepals (petals and sepals are fused in these and called so).  The tepal is thick and somewhat rubbery.

magnoliaHowever, I realized that peeling the epidermis of this tepal is rather easy. Just break the tepal to the point it is almost in two and pull one over the other to peel the epidermis. I did this for the upper and lower epidermis. I also stained it with Carbol Rose Bengal and could see really nice nuclei. The epidermises dont seem very different from each other. I wonder what  is the range of epidermal shapes?

Click on images below for hires pictures

Source Unstained Stained
Petal Upper epidermis  petal-upper-unstained
Petal lower epidermis  lowerepidermis-unstained  leaf-lower-epidermis-stained





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