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"We have never before seen a structure like this in the cell walls of plants," says Dr. Rina Kamenetsky. "This is a very rare structure - maybe even unique." It's known as the ultimate survivor. It grows wild in Israel, thriving in the harsh dry conditions that would kill many other plants.
And what do the cells of this hardy survivor - a native Israeli Persian buttercup - look like under a microscope?
A Star of David.
It was the first time that Kamenetsky, a leading floriculturist, had seen a Star of David pattern on the cells of any plant.
It turns out that the cell walls of the storage roots of this particular plant serve as a shield. In winter, when the first rain comes, the cell walls block the sudden influx of water which could cause the cells to burst. At the same time, they protect the cells from dehydration by absorbing water.
edit on 21-1-2012 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)
If the central stem of a plant is looked at closely, it can be seen that as the plant grows upward, leaves or branches sprout off of the stem in a spiraling pattern. In other words, in an over-simplified example, the plant grows up an inch, and a leaf or branch sprouts out of the stem. Then the plant grows up another inch, and once again a leaf or branch sprouts out, but this time it sprouts out in a different direction than the first. Once again, the plant grows upwards and another leaf or branch grows out of the stem, and once again we find that the leaf or branch has sprouted in a different direction than the one before it. If we were to connect the tips of the leaves or branches that have grown out of the stem, we would find that they create a very definite spiral pattern around the central stem.