Pollen of Mahogony flower under foldscope

Indian mahogany (also called Red cedar) is botanically known as Toona ciliata. It is a large deciduous tree belonging to family Meliaceae (Neem family). In Chandigarh these trees can be occasionally spotted. I had gone for my car repair, where I spotted this tree in full bloom near the car market. I collected the samples and studied them later.

The tree is famous for its fragrant red wood used for furniture making and ornamental woodwork. Leaves are compound with typical imparipinnate condition. Leaflets are opposite or irregularly alternate, ovate-lanceloate in shape. Flowers are usually white in colour and clustered in panicles. The typical pattern of dichasial cyme was seen in this species of Toona. Presence of androgynophore i.e.  androecium and gynoecium fused to form a disk.

The anthers that were present at the end of disk were gently teased to release the pollen that appeared like spherical beads with thick exine that showed some ornamentation on its surface.

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