Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Favorite Botanical Words

In my biology class we are going over some of the basics of plant anatomy. I have always loved the words used to describe plant tissues. I especially like saying them, which I can't share with you over the internet. The ch is a hard sound, like a "k", the xy sounds like a "z".

Parenchyma - the basic storage cells of plants. When you eat an apple or a potato, you are eating parenchyma.

Collenchyma - these cells are a bit tougher than parenchyma cells, and as such they are used for support of stems. When you eat celery, the strings are collenchyma cells

Sclerenchyma - the cells are even more rigid. They include fibers (i.e. flax which is used to spin linen are schlerenchyma fibers) and sclerids (the grittiness of pears is due to sclerids).

Then there are the two vascular tissues, which plants use to move substances around.
Water moves through the xylem and sugars move through the phloem.

And to continue in the plant theme - here is the red bud from last week. I can't tell for sure, but the buds look a little bit bigger than the last time. I need to get a solid colored background and use it consistently when taking these pictures.


Sparkling Squirrel said...

I'm a huge fan of schlerenchyma myself. I made students say them for me in order to pick up their exams last semester. They were not amused but I was.

Jennifer said...

Oh, you are so cruel sprakling squirrel. I just wish my class was small enough to subject them to that. I probably should have made them all say the word in class but I chickened out. I don't think they would be amused.