The Cell Arrangement of Leaves vs Flower Petals (BioE80 Spr2015)

As humans, we interact with nature very often, and since I am an explorer, I ask many questions when I go outside. There are so many things we can learn from studying the things that go on outdoors, and today, I decided to explore whether or not there are similarities in the cell layout of flowers and leaves.


To conduct my observations, I took a sample of a leaf from a plant outside, and a sample of a pink flower petal off of a different plant.

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I started my observations with the leaf. My sample from the leaf was just a small section broken off; it wasn’t thinned or shaved down at all. While examining the sample I was able to see many small spherical objects – cells of the leaf. These cells were arranged in large groups separated by the veins of the leaf, which didn’t seem to have nearly as high a concentration of the cells as the rest of leaf. Based on the images of the observation, I could also estimate that the leaf was only a handful of cells thick.



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After examining the leaf I moved on to the flower sample, which I also hadn’t been thinned or shaved in any way. Upon examining the flower I was able to see that these cells were all sphere shaped and in groups separated by vein-like structures. Based on this image, I was able to deduce that the flower petal is thinner than the leaf and it has many more veins. I also noticed that despite the green color of the central vein in the petal (as seen in the first picture of the flower), there isn’t any green coloring in the pink flower petal at a microscopic level, only a darker pink color.


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So in conclusion, the cell arrangement of flower petals is very similar to that of leaves. The only major differences were the thickness in leaf/petal size, the frequency of veins and the color. Do you notice any other differences that I missed or have any suggestions for taking my observations further?

Entry by Elizabeth Price

One Comment Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Nice. Actually in Bougainvillea (which is the type of flower you examined), the flower is tiny and white and in the center. The pink papery structure is called a bract and they are essentially closer to leaves in anatomy than the flower. Yet as you point out they are thinner.. wonder what determines leaf thickness in this plant.

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