Up close

This stellar photo is not Jupiter, but the view down my microscope of a humble tradescantia leaf. The green and purple bands are the variegations and the pigmentation glitters like rubies in mesmeric glory. I am still learning to use this amazing , inexpensive microscope and during a wet afternoon I just looked at the leaves from house plants and the few plants in leaf in the garden. I was struck particularly by leaf hairs.

The thick hairs on a woolly Stachys leaf looked like spun glass and the hairs on a herb Robert leaf look like icicles about to melt in sunshine.

The leaf of scented geranium is downy and irregularly studded with brown globules, which I took to be the oils that give the plant its distinctive perfume. This was confirmed when I looked at the leaf of a thyme plant. This leaf was scurffy with tiny hairs and plastered with brown oil globes where the secret of its much prized flavour lie.

The most surprising of all was the leaf of a wall flower, that has survived all winter in the partial shelter of a lean to. I have never considered them hairy at all, but the leaf was covered in long parallel hairs lying flat to the surface. They did not seem useful to keep it warm , or to hold in oils , or defensive spikes, maybe they were to speed water down from the leaf that might otherwise freeze in winter or to focus water onto the roots in dry times.

I have so much to learn!

5 thoughts on “Up close

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s