Kitchen garden through Foldscope

  • Jasveen Dua

During the summer vacations, I got the opportunity of exploring foldscope as a kitchen garden tool. I was able to see microscopic wonders in my own garden and familiarize the kids and my parents about the usage of foldscope.

Bean plant (Phaseolus spp.)

I started with a plant with hanging beans. The bean pods were slender and cylindrical.

It was a vine with white flowers having purplish tinge in the petals. I took a flower and separated its sepals and petals to see the typical Butterfly shape corolla.

Fused sepals

A bean flower and fused sepals 

There was a large bilobed petal (vexillum), two lateral small petals, just like the wings (alae) and two petals fused to form the boat shaped keel (carina). I focused a petal to show them the cells, which they enjoyed a lot.


The separated Standard, wings,  fused keel of Butterfly Corolla


The cells viewed in a petal 





I split open the fused petals to see the stamens in 2 groups – 9 fused in one cluster and 1 standing alone around the pistil.


On left side are the stamens (9+1) and on right side – the pistil

The pistil had a swollen ovary at the base, hairy style and lobed stigma. The hairs on the style were quite prominent and had some pollen entangled.

Hairy style – The style had abundant hair on it

Pollen can be seen entangled in hairy style 

I teased the anthers to release the pollen and fixed them on a slide. I could see the thick exine and the most amazing thing – dimorphic pollen. Some pollen were smaller in size and some larger.

Dimorhic pollen and the germinating pollen 

While observing the anthers and stigma some more hideous wonders were unfolded which I would be sharing later.





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