Extreme Succulent Defamiliarization 2: Agave Leaf Detail


Out of curiosity, I had always wondered why Agave leaves have what seems to be the imprint of an earlier leaf embedded in them, and this image reveals the answer. I had assumed that the ghost of the leaf and spines was merely a waxy surface texture, but it actually seems from this shot that the leaf itself grows this effect as a result of being tightly bound during its early stages of growth. The white specks in the image are spiracles (breathing holes for the gases to enter and escape); the trace of the earlier leaf appears where no or fewer spiracles have grown, leaving bare green surface cells. Amazing!




D800E/200f4micro/36mm extension

Stack of 8 frames, 36mm extension

ISO 100 0.5” f/16






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