Desi Badam pollen

Here’s a Badam tree (Terminalia catappa) flowering :

When I was trying to get pollen I found this well camouflaged spider hanging around:

Not sure if it’s a pollinator or it’s lurking around for pollinators……

Even after avoiding our spider friend, plucking flowers and squashing anthers did not work very well — the pollen was surprisingly hard to find!! I had to take the cello-tape directly to the flowers and brush them with it. Anyway, here’s its pollen:

For scale bars, I used the method described in this post about measuring with a Foldscope.

Badam pollen looks really tiny and delicate (only one of those things is actually true). I estimate the pollen grains to be about 25 microns in length (and as far as I can tell, has 3 furrows on the coat so, as expected, is a Tricolpate).

You can see that from this video where I go up an down in Z:

Here’s the pollen at the same magnification (200×200 micron squares) as other things:

Grid line (100 microns) and T. catappa pollen


(compare these to C. pulcherrima and M. koenigii)

4 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Fantastic. The fruit is edible too and brings back childhood memories of being shouted at while climbing the tall tree. The flowers are really interesting. They are monoecious and an analysis of the male and female flower would be much appreciated. Wonder if the petals have interesting trichomes

  2. varuni says:

    From what I saw, each flower had male & female parts (technically, I think this also makes it monoecious). But I assume you meant that it has separate male & female flowers? It maybe true that only the stamen or pistils are viable in each flower — may not be easy to check this. Anyway, I’ll take a look at the flowers again and update the post.

  3. laksiyer says:

    Yes you are right. Apparently, there are male and female flowers in the same tree. It would be interesting to see if there are visible or floral difference between them. If the differences are stark, then a whole series of observations can be commenced, like position on the tree, insects that frequent them, time of flowering and the list is never ending.

  4. varuni says:

    So I checked, and as far as I can tell, each flower in the inflorescence is “complete” – has anthers and pistils. I haven’t checked pollen from each flower (or inflorescence) or it’s viability… will try to. In the meantime, check out cool dimorphic pollen:

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