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The ferroelastic hysteresis is correlated with the propagation of twin walls under external stress. The wall thickness at T < < Tc varies between 1 nm and 7 nm for different materials. Individual twin walls can act as fast diffusion paths for dopants and lattice imperfections. Several twin walls can combine to form hierarchical structures on a mesoscopic length scale (between, say 10 nm and 100 nm). Their features (needle domains, comb patterns, tweed and tartan patterns) are mainly determined by strain interactions with long correlation lengths. The formation of needle domains often leads to coarsening of the microstructure; their geometrical features are described in some detail.