Compound pollen grains of Gum arabic tree (Babool)

Its my privilege to explore nature using foldscope, which otherwise would have gone unnoticed by me.

Babool (Acacia nilotica) is a medium-sized tree cultivated along the roadsides in Punjab. It is a multi-purpose tree with branches having a tendency to droop downwards. Presence of spines and pinnately compound leaves are characteristic of Acacia family.


Minute, sub-sessile yellow coloured flowers are clustered in cymose heads. Numerous free stamens that are connate at the base and a filiform style with a minute, terminal stigma could be viewed under foldscope.. Stamens were seen to possess long filaments but small anthers at the tips.

The most important feature unfolded by foldscopy was compound pollen grains. Flowers obtained from a locality in Mohali (Punjab) revealed that pollen grains are aggregated together to form spherical ball-like compound grains. (referred to as polyads by Jumrah

Going through the reference article, I gathered information that the pollen grains in the Mimosoideae family of Angiosperms are in polyads composed of 16 grains specifically in Acacia nilotica and on further teasing, monads got separated. The individual pollen were found to be circular in shape and emergence of pollen tube marked.

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