the Structure of Duckweed Fronds
from the work of Elias Landolt
|Details of a Lemna Plant||Schematic Diagrams||The Air Pockets of Lemna Fronds||See inside the plant|
Photo from Landolt, 1986, used with permission.
Click on any image for a magnified view.
Flowers buds are also initiated in the frond
but their formation is not required for unlimited asexual reproduction.
Several plant anatomists have tried to interpret the anatomy of the duckweed frond in terms of the anatomy of related higher plants, from which the Lemnaceae probably evolved. Elias Landolt has provided the most convincing recent interpretation.
|Legend: left, Spirodela, center, Wolffiella,
The Lemna frond is organized very similarly to Spirodela, but there is no prophyllum at the base of the frond (the prophyllum at the base of the flower is present in Lemna).
The air pockets (aerenchyma) of duckweeds provide buoyancy, much like the air spaces in a rubber raft.
||Cross-sectional view of to show the air spaces (aerenchyma).
AS = air space, CL = layers of cells surrounding aerenchyma, LN = lateral nerve, MN = median nerve.
|aerenchyma||A an air pocket in the duckweed frond lined with a smooth layer of cells. The aerenchyma are present in vegetative fronds but absent in turions.|
|asexual reproduction||Frond multiplication by budding of daughter fronds without flowering and fertilization of the ovary by pollen.|
|meristematic zone||A site within the plant where an organized structure of dividing cells is located.|
|nerve||Nerves are vascular tissue. The consist of elongated cells that branch off from the node and run nearly to the tips of the fronds. Tracheary elements are found in the nerves and in roots.|
|prophyllum||In Spirodela and Landoltia, a two-part scale of tissue covering the base of the frond. It is alsothe point of attachment of the roots.|
|stipule||A thread of tissue that connects daughter fronds to the pouch of the mother frond|
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Revised: December 20, 2005