It's often difficult to find the appropriate or best stain to use when I want to examine a new type of tissue. I think that's partly because many histological techniques were developed a long time ago, so the papers don't turn up in Google Scholar. Is there a standard reference which links tissues, cell types or states and their corresponding best stain?

I'm mostly interested in a reference text or website covering plant histology, but general references are welcome too.

  • $\begingroup$ Did you try the websites of vendors? They usually want this kind of info front and center so people buy from them. $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2012 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ Vendors tend to expect you to already know what chemicals you want. I'm looking for something which covers modern (e.g. fluoro) histology as well as traditional (e.g. nuclear stains, differential stains). $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2012 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


If you want to go way back, google books has Methods in Plant Histology (Chamberlin, 1905) with a PDF. It details stains and the tissues they are used for and even has a section titled "Selection of a Stain."


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