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Xylem sap differences

  1. Nov 23, 2013 #1
    I have several questions regarding xylem sap:

    How is xylem sap from a palm different than sap from other trees, such as oak, maple or pine (aside from the sugar content)?

    What are the common ingredients in xylem sap amongst all tree types?

    How difficult would it be to synthesize sap?

    Thank you,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2013 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Common to xylem sap in general: water, plant hormones, mineral nutrients like Na, Ca, P, nitrate.

    Do not confuse sap with various mucilages, resins and latex - this is the sticky stuff. Common to phloem sap in general: water, simple sugars, mineral nutrients. Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) phloem sap is the source of maple sugar, maple candy, and maple syrup.

    The primary differences among flowering trees (angiosperms) lie in latex and various resins or mucilages. Generically these compounds are also called sap.

    Mucilages are glycoproteins. Resins are largely aromatic hydrocarbons, many will harden like copal, and amber. Latex is a complex, watery emulsion consisting of varying contents. It is extracted from a few species of tress and polymerized into natural rubber.

    Xylem sap is not radically different among Angiosperms, AFAIK. Soil substrate affects the concentration of nutrients in sap. Synthesizing xylem sap (other than phytohormones) is basic simple kitchen chemistry.
  4. Nov 23, 2013 #3


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    palm is not a tree at all ... it is a grass
  5. Nov 23, 2013 #4
    Thank you Jim.

    I guess the phytohormones is the difficult aspect of trying to synthesize sap. Is there anyway available, aside from sapping a tree, of easily acquiring xylem sap? I know coconut water can be bought in a can, but is that a palm's xylem sap?
  6. Nov 23, 2013 #5
    I know palms have different properties than trees but in day to day conversations I've never heard them referred to as grass. Palm tree slips off the tongue much easier than palm grass.
  7. Nov 23, 2013 #6
    Palm grass -
    Molineria capitulata is a species of flowering plant known by the common name palm grass. It is native to much of eastern and southern Asia, Indonesia, and northern Australia. It can be found in many other tropical and warmer temperate places, where it is grown as an ornamental plant. This is a bunch-forming herb with long, flat, fibrous leaves and star-shaped yellow flowers. The fibers from the plant have been used for purposes such as making nets, and the fruit is edible.

    The Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial lianas, shrubs, and trees commonly known as palms. (Due to historical usage, the family is alternatively called Palmae or Palmaceae.[3]

    In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting leaves or branches.
    In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only woody plants, only plants that are usable as lumber or only plants above a specified height. At its broadest, trees include the taller palms, the tree ferns, bananas and bamboo.

    Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the family Poaceae (also called Gramineae), as well as the sedges (Cyperaceae) and the rushes (Juncaceae). The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns (turf) and grassland. Sedges include many wild marsh and grassland plants, and some cultivated ones such as water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) and papyrus sedge (Cyperus papyrus).


    The cause of confusion I believe is because of the fact palms and grasses are both monocots, while most 'trees' are dicots. Another reason may be lack of a cambium a state both of them suffer being monocots, but is not a sufficient condition being a property of a higher taxa.
    Grasses are from family Poaceae while palms are family Arecaceae.

    IMO lets stick to plants or just palms
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  8. Nov 24, 2013 #7
    If my distracted high school memory serves me correct coconut water is the endosperm (suspension of multi-nucleated thingy...I hated bio...)
    Xylem sap is ...er...found in xylem only as far as I know. Coconut doesn't qualify.
  9. Nov 24, 2013 #8
    Thank you Enigman
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