From the stems great numbers of downward growing roots split off inside
the 'false stem'. They created a feltlike mat around the stems.
The trunk was full of roots. They filled up all the space between the stems.
The roots were covered with root hairs for the absorbtion of water within the trunk. These root hairs are sometimes excellently preserved , especially in the lower parts of the trunk.
The structure of the roots differs from
that of the stems. In the middle is the xylem and the phloem. The wood vessels
are placed in two perpendicular planes and in most cases two to four very
wide cells occur.
The cells between the wood vessels constitute the phloem. The wide ring around the pith is the cortex. The greater part of the cortex consists of very tough, thickwalled cells. It is this layer which gives the roots, and thus the trunk, its stiffness.
The outer cortex layer consists of thinwalled cells. This layer is often decayed leaving an empty room between the epidermis and the supporting tissue.
In old roots the xylem has vanished leaving the pith empty.
The diameter of a root varies from 0.2 to 1.2 mms.
Click at the photo to enlarge