Although all cells in the green parts of a plant have chloroplasts, the majority of those are found in specially adapted structures called leaves . Certain species adapted to conditions of strong sunlight and aridity , such as many Euphorbia and cactus species, have their main photosynthetic organs in their stems. The cells in the interior tissues of a leaf, called the mesophyll , can contain between 450,000 and 800,000 chloroplasts for every square millimeter of leaf. The surface of the leaf is coated with a water-resistant waxy cuticle that protects the leaf from excessive evaporation of water and decreases the absorption of ultraviolet or blue light to reduce heating . The transparent epidermis layer allows light to pass through to the palisade mesophyll cells where most of the photosynthesis takes place.