Cross section through a root of Taraxacum – Dandelion

Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is an herbaceous, perennial plant. Taraxacum is a large genus in the Asteraceae family. It is characterized by a thick tap root and leaves radiating from the root to form a rosette. This plant is highly common and is found in fields, in pastures, meadows and is frequently considered as a troublesome weed.
Dandelion is known for the nutritional and culinary qualities of the leaves and for medicinal properties of the roots. In addition, it shows a very particular and interesting characteristic. When a stem is broken a milky, thick liquid is flowing from the wound. This liquid called latex, can be turned in rubber. It quickly coagulates after being exposed to air into a rubber that can be used to fabricate tires.

Below light microscopy cross with periderm, protective tissue, xylem in the center (cylinder of xylem II) and initiation of a lateral root (red arrow) in front of xylem.

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Higher magnification view of the cross section illustrating the phloem and the laticifers (red arrows). Laticifers are cells or files of cells in which latex is synthetized and stored.

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