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.
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.