Copper pod pollen

  • varuni P

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?

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