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Answer to the Friday Whatsit for June 11, 2010

June 14, 2010

whatsit for Friday June 11

Allium sp., likely A. cepa

I had one guess from my aunt, who said red blood cells.  A good guess, given the color, but unfortunately the color come from a dye that was put onto the sample to enhance our ability to see the cell walls. The sample itself is normally white/colorless.

Friday’s sample was a thin slice of onion, probably Allium cepa, the common bulb onion found at the grocery store.   Yes, onions are related to the flowers called alliums, as well as several other things found in gardens.   In fact, the alliums are one of the largest plant families.

I didn’t create this sample, it was a pre-made student slide that we use during training sessions and demos.  I did create the image though, with white light and one of our high resolution cameras.  The onion cells here are approximately 63X normal size.  I did have a picture of the onion section at 6x, with my pen in the image for scale, but I lost track of it.  If I can find it again I’ll add it to the post.


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