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Word of the Week: Lenticel
February 21, 2019 by Haya Aldoori

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Left: Silver Birch; Right: Black Cherry

Lenticel [LEN-tuh-sel](noun): One of many pores in the stem of a woody plant that allow for a direct exchange of gases between the internal plant tissues and the atmosphere.

Ever wondered about the dark lines that you can see on the bark of Silver Birch trees or Black Cherry trees? Well those lines are the lenticels!

For a plant to survive, there needs to be an exchange of gases with the atmosphere. Since bark is normally impermeable, the plant relies on it’s lenticels in order to exchange or release its internal gases.

Lenticels are not always as noticeable as they are on Birch or Black Cherry bark, but even when they can’t be seen, they are always there providing that important survival mechanism for the plant. The shape of lenticels can also be used as a characteristic to look for when trying to ID trees.

Look for trees with noticeable lenticels the next time you visit High Park!

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