The rapid flow of the transpiration stream through major veins to leaf teeth was followed in leaves of Populus balsamifera L., using the tracer sulphorhodamine G (SR), which probes for cells with H+-extrusion pumps. The tracer accumulated quickly in the hydathodes of the teeth. It was shown by freeze-substitution and anhydrous processing that SR was taken up by phloem parenchyma and epithem cells of the hydathode. When 14C-labelled aspartate was fed to the leaves in the transpiration stream, it also was taken up most strongly by the same phloem parenchyma and epithem cells. It is proposed that one function of the hydathodes in leaf teeth is the retrieval of solutes from the transpiration stream.