Sponge gourd – Luffa aegyptiaca
Sponge Gourd is a fast growing vine that produces yellow flowers and is a popular vegetable of summers and spreads prolifically during monsoon season. The fruits are green and cylindrical in shape.
Flowers are deep yellow in color and unisexual. Male flowers are numerous and present in clusters of 10 -15. Each flower has 5 stamens with short filaments and sigmoid anthers. Filaments bear multi-cellular & elongated trichomes as seen through the foldscope.
Female flowers are solitary with a cylindrical ovary and 3 expanded stigmas. Fruits are cylindrical, straight or slightly curved. The ovary is also cylindrical in female flowers with the ovary wall showing presence of trichomes. Placenta and ovules could be seen in the T.S of ovary
Tricolpate dimorhic pollen grains were observed in Luffa on dusting the pollen on to a slide. Some pollen were oval and some circular. Pores of the pollen are circular and with a prominent annulus.
Foldscope unfolded another amazing exploration – pollen tetrads showing developing pollen.
Flower petals are ribbed and showed the presence of numerous multi-cellular, elongated structures on the petals along with dehisced pollen
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