Sequence showing the steps in the process of creating a light microscope image of the stem of a banana (Musa). First, the top of the stem is cut from the banana. The stem is then fixed in a mounting medium of polyethylene glycol and placed in a microtome, where a very thin section is cut off. This is placed in a solution to which the red stain safranin is added and dissolved in alcohol, which stains the lignified cells of the xylem vessels red. After this, the blue stain aniline blue is added, which stains non-lignified cell walls of the phloem and other tissues. The stained section is then placed on a microscope slide. The resulting image is seen at the end, at two levels of magnification. The arrangements of the vascular bundles of xylem and phloem is characteristic of monocotyledonous plants, such as bananas.