Pine trees are conifers
“Conifer” is a general term for trees and shrubs that bear their seeds in cones. Conifers are usually, (but not always!) evergreen, and include pines, spruces, cedars, firs, junipers. We distinguish pines from other conifers by their long needles that are clustered into bundles called “fascicles”. Different species of pine have different numbers of individual needles in a fascicle. Usually the number of needles per bundle ranges from 2-5. We also know pine trees for their resin production which becomes amber when fossilized. Have you ever wondered what a pine needle looks like on the inside? Keep on reading!
How photosynthetic function is reflected in cellular structures
In this transverse slice through a pine needle you can see at least three cell types. Leaves/needles are the major site of photosynthesis in plants. At the outer edge there is a layer of tall, narrow cells closely packed in a single, tight row. These are palisade mesophyll cells that collect the light for photosynthesis and contain lots of chlorophyll. The next type of cells are irregularly shaped cells with more spaces between them called spongy mesophyll. The spaces allow for photosynthetic gas exchange. Last, you can see a circle of round cells that are not green. This is a resin duct. Pine needles contain several resin ducts that transport resin throughout the needle.
The pine needle pattern
We took the cells of the resin duct and made it the focal point of a new pattern by nature. We also played with pattern size and colour. We did not stain the original microscopy image, so the green colour palette represents the natural colouring of the pine needle tissues. We have also produced a blue version and a red version of the pattern. Do you have a favourite?
Imagine you would have one of our convertible bags with this pattern or a wallpaper at home. Would this not be a fantastic way to get a conversation going about the fascinating structures inside Flora?
You can currently (2020-Nov) find linen with this design at Tygverket Stockholm . Fabric, wallpaper and other items in various materials with this design are also available on demand through our Spoonflower shop.