Surface of a mint leaf

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SEM of the surface of a mint leaf. Mint belongs to the genus Mentha and is commonly used to flavour food, drinks and dental products. Two oil glands with drops of oil sat on the leaf surface (blue) are responsible for giving this plant its characteristic aroma. The green spike in the lower left corner of the image is a hair (trichome). Numerous stomata (small olive green structures) are also visible. These pores open and close as required to allow exchange of gases into and out of the leaf.

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      'Surface of a mint leaf' by Annie Cavanagh. Credit: Annie Cavanagh. CC BY-NC


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        Credit: Annie Cavanagh

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