Cross-section of Stem and Leaves
The cross-section of a stem and seven small leaves (microphylls) from an Australian beefwood (Casuarina cunninghamiana). A special ultraviolet (UV) light was used to reveal the different colors under a microscope. Items under a UV-lamp fluoresce and do not look the same color as under daylight. The red fluorescence in the very small pentagon shaped leaves is from chlorophyll. The blue fluorescence is from secondary metabolites in the vascular (central) and epidermal (outer) tissue.
This beefwood appears to have needles when looking with the unaided eye, which are not found in this taxonomic group. Investigating with a UV microscope revealed that instead of a single needle, this is a stem with seven small leaves. Not everything is as it appears to the human eye.
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