Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 9:10 EDT
Cross section of succulent leaved perennial herb
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Cross section of succulent, leaved perennial herb

September 12, 2013
A cross section of Phemeranthus teretifolius, a succulent, leaved perennial herb. In addition to the single, large central bundle, a 3-D ring of smaller vascular bundles is visible at the junction of outer photosynthetic tissues and inner water storage tissues. Some plants such as succulents have managed to grow very plump leaves. For this to happen, according to a new National Science Foundation (NSF) supported study by researchers at Brown University, plants had to have evolved a 3-D arrangement of their leaf veins. This is how they could maintain adequately efficient hydraulics for photosynthesis. Credit: Matthew Ogburn, Yale University