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Saxophone Formation with 5-year Sabal palmetto
by Bob Harms
Images from two different 5-year juvenile S. palmettos, each with numerous leaf scars, with meristem still descending. An approximation of the overall meristem direction is represented by the purple arrows in the center image. (Clicking on the center of each colored box will open up a page with an enlargement of that area.)
- At the very top of the yellow box can be seen the remnants of the plumular-radicular node and radicle as oblique downward growth begins.
- Below that area the formation of new leaves is forced to develop more or less straight down as the leaf column to its immediate right increases in width.
- After 11 leaf scars the downward growth seems to be continuing — in sharp contrast with S. minor juvenile development.
- In the enlargement of the blue box can be seen the leaf veins approximating a 180° reorientation as the downward growth is suddenly redirected upward.
Each node seems to give rise to one (and perhaps a second) major root (yellow), the roots increasing in size almost in proportion to the size of the leaf at that node.