I found this picture online claiming it was a grass cell. Clearly it is a cross section image but I was hoping you could tell me if this is actually grass, or something else if anything.

grass cross section

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    $\begingroup$ I wonder how many people noticed a little something in this image. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ Not a cell but many cells and several tissues, with artificial staining. This is a sort of xerophytic (desert-climate) grass leaf in TS (transverse section). On rain the roll get opened and absorb water. $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @user1306322 Yes... Yes I did $\endgroup$
    – L.B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 19:05
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    $\begingroup$ @user1306322 Me too... :) $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 8:32
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    $\begingroup$ Matram Grass leaf Stained cross section $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 9:02

2 Answers 2


It's not a single grass cell, but this does indeed appear to be a micrograph of a leaf of grass—so it actually contains numerous cells. Here's another image I was able to find with a much more clear description of exactly what you're seeing:


Marram grass leaf. Light micrograph of a cross section through a closed (unravelled) leaf of Marram grass, Ammophila arenaria. The deeply grooved leaf is thrown into folds (seen here) and it uncurls when mature so that the folds do not face the centre. The folds conserve water and withstand salt, and prevent excessive evaporation. Round vascular bundles are visible inside each fold, serving to transport food and water through the leaf. Spines on the surface discourage animals from eating the leaf. Marram grass is important in coastal ecology, since it is one of the commonest grass species in Britain to stabilize sand dunes. Magnification: x22 at 35mm size. (Emphasis added)

Source: http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/30161/view

And here's another:


Transverse section of Marram Grass leaf , showing adaptations to prevent water loss; outer thick cuticle, curling by means of hinge cells to protect inner epidermis, stomata sunken into surface to maintain high humidity

Source: http://www.eplantscience.com/index/principles_of_horticulture/minerals.php

The coloration yielding the yellow 'happy faces' is artificial, either due to staining or direct post-processing of the image.

  • $\begingroup$ Happy faces... good adjective for vascular bundles TS ... :D :) :D $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 3:41

This is a transverse section (T.S.) of leaf blade a sort of Xerophytic (Desert-climate) grasses. such as Ammophila arenaria , Spartina sp, Agropyron sp, Poa pratensis etc. However similar-type-adaptation also seen in other (not-grass) plants.

It is T.S. of an object like this.

TS Through a desert grass leaf (highly diagrammatic, actually it is much more thinner, needle-like).

The 2 sides of the leaf develop into different structure. The adaxial ("upper") surface, which in its underneath contain the the soft, green tissue, and the abaxial ("bottom") surface which contains more sclerotic tissue.

Normally, when dry-period runs, the leaf remains rolled in an way, so that soft side stay inwards , concave manner, closed, protected from evaporation. The outer, convex abaxial-face acts as a shield.

When rains come; the leaf work in a manner of bimetallic-strip. The inner (adaxial) surface absorbs water and expands (the "hinge cells" help it); and the inner-face become open. Then the inner-face work as a water-absorption tissue.

When dry-period come-again, the leaves enter their original state.

In the photograph given by you; The Cells are: Cells here

The whole diagram (Colors not realistic. Either The specimen is stained; or image has been processed after photograph) with pointing, is like this.


Iv'e provided a textbook-diagram for it: Ammophila arenaria

Ammophila arenaria , from A Textbook of Plant Ecology / Shukla and Chandel.

Reference : A textbook of Plant-ecology by Shukla and Chandel; S.Chand

College Botany, Vol-1 by Gangulee, Das, Datta; New central book agency .

Studies in botany, Vol-2, by Mitra , Guha , Chowdhuri; Moulik Library Kolkata


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