Vascular Plant Anatomy

Laura K. Thompson Dr, Furman University


The Biology 401: Applied Plant Science class deals with how we use plants for food, fiber, dyes, construction, decoration, and so forth. It is important that students understand how a plant is built. That is, the plant’s anatomy. This laboratory exercise is used for the first laboratory session. The prerequisite for this course is only one Biology course; majors or non-majors. Therefore no assumptions can be made about student’s knowledge of plant anatomy. This laboratory session is designed to give a student a quick overview of cell structure and the make-up of monocot and dicot plants. Students observed prepared microscope slides, or prepare the specimens themselves for microscopic investigation. We cover the following topics: (1) plant cell anatomy, (2) plant cell types – parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma, (3) vascular tissue – xylem and phloem, (4) plant organs – shoots, leaves, and roots.