Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), involving images produced by back-scattered electrons, reveals the microstructures of symplectic intergrowths replacing cordierite, which generally are too fine-grained and/or intricately intergrown for investigation using an optical microscope. Microprobe analysis, combined with the SEM technique, enables accurate identification of the intergrown minerals, and permits inference of equations for the local chemical changes involved in the formation of the intergrowths. Generally, the local replacement appears to have involved partial reactions taking place in a larger reactive system. Intergrowths forming partial pseudomorphs of cordierite in three metamorphic complexes consists of up to three minerals, only two of which comprise the intergrowth in any one domain. The following intergrown pairs of minerals have been identified: quartz-Al2SiO3, quartz-biotite, biotite-oligoclase, biotite-K-feldspar, muscovite-oligoclase, oligoclase-andalusite, K-feldspar-andalusite, aluminous orthopyroxene-Al2SiO3, and aluminous anthophylite-Al2SiO3.