Pollen and Staminal Hair of Tradescantia – a spiderwort


Tradescantia (a spiderwort) is an invasive species and is well known to show cytoplasmic movements. In an attempt to study the phenomenon of cyclosis, the purple-heart species (Tradescantia pallida) was selected. It is an easy to grow plant by cuttings.


Its stamens have bilobed anthers with long filaments. Apparently the filaments appear white, but under a foldscope they were seen as flattened membraneous somewhat purplish in colour.

Anther lobe attached to filament as viewed under a foldscope

Presence of staminal hair emerging from the base of the filaments is a characteristic feature of the plant. The staminal hair (also referred to as trichomes) had oval shaped cells arranged in a uniseriate manner. A screen-shot image of a magnified cell appeared amazing. The cells appeared like rosary beads. We tried to capture slight movement in the cells (on zooming), though not very clear.

On slightly pressing the anthers, mass of somewhat oval shaped pollen grains oozed out.

We will attempt once again to capture the Cytoplasmic streaming movements.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Beautiful post @Juda. I somehow missed it before. I have also been loooking for spiderworts for some time – just planted some at my home. Will share my explorations soon.


  2. edurafi says:

    Beautiful post! Curious to know if you manage to capture the Cytoplasmic streaming movements?

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