This chapter describes the methods used in the present survey of palm anatomy. Many taxa were examined using simple methods that allowed rapid observation. The basic approach involved cutting sections from unembedded material using a sliding microtome and staining the sections with standard histochemical reagents, but without making them permanent. Using these important tools, rapid results could be achieved in a laboratory provided only with the simplest equipment. The chapter discusses the materials examined (e.g. leaves and other vegetative organs), the selection and fixation of materials, desilification, maceration, epidermal preparations, pinna clearing, sectioning of unembedded material, staining and mounting sections, celloidin embedding, handling loose sections, and image processing.
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