Leaf epidermal cells of Clivia miniata Regel have strongly thickened outer tangential walls, sizeable cuticles and epicuticular wax deposits, features associated with survival in hot, dry climates. These cells also exhibit band plasmolysis, shown using a variety of cytological methods, and is a feature that has not been previously associated with epidermis. Results were best obtained by staining with the membrane fluorochrome RH414 (Molecular Probes) and followed by treatment in solutions of 0.8 M mannitol. Membrane adherence was seen on a thin, wavy anticlinal partition between epidermal cells. Attempts to stain this portion of cell wall with lipid binding reagents such as berberine, a stain commonly used for examining root exodermis and endodermis, were unsuccessful. Use of the apoplastic tracer pyrenetrisulfonate (PTS) revealed that PTS is not fully mobile in the thickened portion of anticlinal wall adjacent to the site of membrane adherence. A xerophytic taxon exhibiting this phenomenon suggests that its leaf epidermal cells possess a barrier to apoplastic water movement, forcing water into the symplastic pathway where greater cytoplasmic control might be realized.

Key words: Amaryllidaceae, band plasmolysis, Clivia miniata, epidermis, plasma membrane.