Cross section in a leaf of Ficus macrophylla

Ficus macrophylla is known as Australian banyan or Moreton Bay Fig, in Moraceae family. It originates from east of Australia. It is a large broadleaf and evergreen tree growing to 60 meters, with aerial roots growing from large branches near the ground. They have a role of support of the tree.

On the left, photograph of a Ficus macrophylla, in Valencia (Spain) in city parks, where there are many specimens recognized as “monumental trees”.

The cross sections below come from Georges Roux collection.The first one has been made in the main vein. Part of the mesophyll on both sides of the vascular bundle appear colorless or weakly stained.

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Below part of the section in the lamina outside the midrib. The blue arrow indicates a cystolith in a large, specialized cell of the epidermis. Higher magnification view of this cell is shown on the second micrograph below. 

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Below, detail of the large, specialized cell of epidermis called “lithocyst”. It contains the cystolith, a calcium carbonate concretion arising from the cellulosic cell wall. The cuticle (cu) of epidermis (ep) is relatively thick and appears colorless or white. Below epidermis a layer of palisade parenchyma (pp)

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