38 votes
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What is this unusual structure inside this banana?

It looks like some species of Nigrospora genus took over the inside of that banana. According to Wikipedia, N. sphaerica was first isolated from bananas. The other species that you will find ...
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20 votes
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Is this a grass cell?

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 ...
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  • 1,427
14 votes
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Why should plants transform glucose into sucrose before transporting it to other parts?

Glucose, fructose and galactose are the three dietary monosaccharides. Glucose and Fructose are simple monosaccharides found in plants. A monosaccharide is the basic unit of carbohydrate and the ...
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  • 1,874
14 votes

Is this a grass cell?

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-...
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14 votes
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Using anatomical terms for human organs and parts of plants

First, for reference, see here for a discussion about the difference in directional terms between bipeds and quadrupeds as well as a fairly complete explanation of word meanings/etymology. The ...
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13 votes

What determines the spiral direction of plants?

First of all, you assumption seems to be incorrect. Plants in same part of the world can twine in opposite directions. Little seems to be known exactly. Gravity has nothing to do with plant's ...
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13 votes

Why do plants store energy as carbohydrates and not as fats?

The question was: Why would plants store their energy as carbohydrates and not as fats, if fats are a more efficient energy store? But before trying to answer it you have to be quite clear what is ...
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  • 22.3k
13 votes
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Why does spraying water on plants help them survive in case of frost?

The question has already been asked in Physics. According to the information there and here the sprinkling must continue throughout the period when temperatures are below freezing, and is only ...
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  • 22.6k
11 votes

What determines the spiral direction of plants?

Having had a self-sown pumpkin grow in my back yard I can tell you what happened with the tendril in your picture. The tendril started growing straight, with a couple of branches. When one of the ...
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  • 603
11 votes
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What could cause spiral tree growth?

The two commonly put-forward explanations for spiral growth of tree trunks related to stress-loading and damage-tolerance. The stress-loading explanation states that spiral-grained trees flex more ...
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  • 3,273
11 votes
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What causes leaves to be hydrophobic?

This is due to presence of a hydrophobic chemical called as cutin present at the the aerial surfaces of plants. Cutin is one of two waxy polymers that are the main components of the plant cuticle, ...
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  • 4,716
10 votes

What determines the spiral direction of plants?

tendril coiling occurs via asymmetric contraction of an internal fiber ribbon of specialized cells. Under tension, both extracted fiber ribbons and old tendrils exhibit twistless overwinding rather ...
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  • 151
10 votes
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The mystery of coconut tree

First it needs to be said that coconut trees are not true trees, but palms, whose trunks are made of stems which grow in a cross woven pattern. That being said - its true for any plant that no plant ...
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  • 27.4k
9 votes

What are these bumps on tomato stem?

Those bumps are aerial surface hairs, a type of trichome. They are epidermal outgrowths. Therefore it's vines are of pubescent type. In addition to facilitating better exchange of gases, it also ...
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  • 4,716
8 votes
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What does the empty space in the bamboo stem do?

No, its not xylem. Bamboo is a grass, and the stem (culm) of many grasses are hollow in the middle (see e.g. Grass Structures from Oregon state for some more info). The exact reason for why Bamboo ...
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8 votes
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Are chilies technically peppers?

Chili is a common reference to chili peppers in an abundance of countries, but they fall within the same designation as other so-called "peppers" such as bell pepper, cayenne, jalapeno, etc. because ...
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  • 8,031
8 votes
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What’s the Difference Between Grass and Sedge?

Short answer Sedges have edges, and they're in different families. See Minnesota Wildflowers for a great summary with images. Long answer Both are in the order Poales, but they are in different ...
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7 votes
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How do roots obtain nutrition?

One thing to remember when you uproot a plant is that some of the smallest structures break off most readily. What you will usually see after uprooting the plant are the largest parts of the root ...
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7 votes
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Books for learning how plants function

I wanted to comment because I don't think my answer will be the best, but I can't because of my low reputation... Anyway, here are two suggestions: Plant Physiology and Development, by Lincoln Taiz, ...
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  • 684
6 votes

Evolution theory - roses spikes - being more bulgy doesn't give you advantage

I think that the most important point has been given by CactusWoman, when (s)he says "Just because you cannot forsee a use for more "bulgy" spikes doesn't mean there isn't a use for them." In ...
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  • 67.5k
6 votes

Using anatomical terms for human organs and parts of plants

Dorsal and Ventral is very much confusing term as well as very casual term (and unscientific enough... Because we cannot compare our ventre or front with plants'). Unfortunately this casual terms ...
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6 votes

Books for learning how plants function

As user @Tyto alba said, the stream you are telling about, is called plant physiology; so you would need some plant physiology textbook. For a general account on all aspects of plant physiology, and ...
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6 votes
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Strange Exoskeleton Found in Maine: What is It?

It seems to me the ootheca of a mantis before larvae eclosion. You can read more about it here. .jpg
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6 votes
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What are the roundish objects in this sketch of a tracheid?

The 'roundish stuffs' you are seeing are called 'pits'. The Dictionary of Botany defines a pit as '[a] cavity in the secondary cell wall, allowing exchange of substances between adjacent cells'. The ...
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5 votes
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Why do Lapidaria margaretae look like stones?

"Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he's unwilling to be seen with her in public." - J.B.S. Haldane (1892 - 1964) I can't tell you why Lapidaria margaretae ...
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5 votes

How well does the radius of a tree correlate with its age?

The radius of tree is not a good measure of the tree age, the most efficient technique to know the age of a tree is with dendrochronological methods, this is the less invasive technique. However, ...
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  • 370
5 votes
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How do researchers map root systems of plants?

You originally posted this question on the Garden and Landscaping Section - that's where I'm from, and though it was moved here instead, I'll answer it anyway: That image you've shown isn't like a ...
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  • 66
5 votes

Do aquatic plants have stomata?

According to the book Stomatal function (Zeiger et al, 1987), many aquatic angiosperm plants have stomata (since they have evolved from terrestial plants), while some have reduced or complete loss of ...
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5 votes

What is the name of the groove down the middle of an anther?

I think what you are looking for is the connective. Anthers are usually two-lobed and connected by a band of sterile tissue that also connects the anther with the filament - therefore the name, I ...
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  • 2,867
5 votes
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Why do plants store energy as carbohydrates and not as fats?

There are quite some reasons for why plants prefer carbohydrates for energy storage rather than fats. I will reach some of them one at a time. Fat hates water: By just applying some common sense, one ...
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