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ANATOMICAL CHARACTERISATION AND VARIABILITY OF THE THISTLE CYNARA CARDUNCULUS IN VIEW OF PULPING POTENTIAL

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The thistle Cynara cardunculus L. is an herbaceous perennial with high productivity that is harvested annually and is a potential fibre crop for paper pulp production. The anatomical variation within stalks was studied (base, middle and top) and compared in C. cardunculus plants at different development phases. The stalk of C. cardunculus includes an epidermis, cortex and a central cylinder with fibro-vascular bundles with phloem, xylem and a fibrous sheath that is variable in arrangement and size within and between plants.At harvest, the pith represents 37% of the stalk transectional area and 7% of the total weight. There was a slight variation in quantitative features of, respectively, the three development groups studied; mean fibre length was 1.04 mm, 0.95 mm and 1.05 mm; mean fibre width was 15 μm, 16 μm and 21 μm; mean fibre wall thickness was 3.2 μm, 3.4 μm and 4.9 μm. Fibre length and width decreased within the stem from base to top, while fibre wall thickness increased. Mean vessel diameter was 22 μm and mean vessel element length 220–483 μm. In mature plants, parenchyma represents 39% of the total transectional area and fibres 25%. The proportion of fibres increases during plant development and in mature plants is highest at the stalk base.As regards anatomical features, Cynara stalks compare favourably to other annual plants and fibre biometry indicates good potential for paper sheet forming and strength properties.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22941932-90000362
2004-01-01
2016-12-06

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