Copper pod pollen

I was walking to my office and noticed these Copper Pod (Peltophorum pterocarpum) flowers:

It’s a bit past their flowering season, so there aren’t really that many flowers:

The flowers are laden with pollen — I couldn’t even get it back to my office without dusting my fingers with pollen:

Here are many many fresh pollen viewed on the Foldscope:

I estimate that the pollen is about 38-40 microns and the inner and outer radius 10 and 13 microns respectively. The pollen is also tricolpate (and therefore a eudicot), no surprise there.

You can even see the texture on the pollen coat! Pollen coats are called the exine and are made of Sporopollenin, an extremely resistant substance. It is so strong and unreactive that it can survive for >500 million years and often shows up in fossil records! Its believed that Sporopollenin is a polymer of some sort. But currently, its not entirely clear its made of!

Heres a video with changing the focal plane. See how the exine pattern comes in and out of focus?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous. If you don’t mind I d like to put all your observations in a database of pollen that I maintain. I love the fact that you have pollen sizes too.

  2. varuni says:

    Sure 🙂 — as long as you link to the original posts. I will also compile my own list and post it soon.

    I have also been posting some of these pollen pictures to India Biodiversity Portal (IBP) like this one: . It’s a helpful database to organize and share observations etc. There’s also an active community which is helpful in identifying species.

  3. laksiyer says:

    Yes, of course, with due credit. If we get a large enough data, we could use it for quantitative analysis and perhaps use it to build models for pollen shapes. Yes I am aware of IBP. There is this google group called eflora of India that I subscribe to. They too are really knowledgable.!forum/indiantreepix

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