Spiky pollen grains of Hibiscus

Kingdom : Plantae

Sub Kingdom : Tracheobionta

Class : Magnoliopsida

Division : Magnoliophyta

Order : Malvales

Family : Malvaceae

Genus : Hibiscus

Species : rosa-sinensis

Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are renowned for their large, showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.The leaves are alternate, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, color from white to pink, red, orange, peach, yellow or purple, and from 4–18 cm broad. Flower color in certain species, such as H. mutabilis and H. tiliaceus, changes with age. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule dehisces (splits open) at maturity. It is of red and white colours. It is an example of complete flowers.

We have many beautiful flowers in our IISER Bhopal campus. We were very fascinated to observe pollen grains under foldscope. The pollen is a powdery substance containing the pollen grains and are present on the anther of a flower.

Hibiscus flower

So here we go, we plucked few flowers from our campus . To transfer pollen to my sample, I tapped the anther lightly against a glass slide. Yellow pollen dusted the glass. Placing a coverslip on top of the pollen dust and applying pressure with my finger, I shifted the glass to spread the pollen in a thin layer and glued the coverslip in place.And I got to observe the beautiful spike shaped pollen which I never seen before!

Spiky pollen grains under foldscope.
Spiky pollen grains

We can clearly observe the spikes on the pollen grain.

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