Star shaped planthair Alyssum

Earlier this year I started to look at different types of planthairs. For example the umbrella shaped and star shaped hairs provide an interesting image under the microscope. After  I found in a book about trichomes that the Alyssum has microscopic star shaped hairs, I ordered a cutting of this plant and grew it during spring and summertime.

The first picture shows a hair on a fresh leaf with reflected darkfield.

After fixation and processing for removing the chlorofyl, I made 2 preparations of the more transparent leaf, mounted in Euparal.

The trichomes show an interesting effect in DIC (differential interference contrast) , which is shown in below photo’s respectively, 16x, 25x and 40x. The last photo is similar as the upper photo, with inverted colours. This technique is interesting for experimenting with other types of trichomes too.