Unusual polymorphic pollen in Canna flower

  • Rahul Prasher

Canna – a monocot, represents a single genus of the family Cannaceae.  The pollen isolated from the large single white coloured anther unfolded the unusual polymorphic pollen structure when seen through a foldscope.


Flowers are typically red, orange or yellow or have patches of a combination of colours and aggregate in spikes or panicles.  Each flower has three sepals and petals (monocots have trimerous flowers – atypical feature).

The petals are actually the highly modified stamens or staminodes.  pollen are produced in only a single stamen that bears half anther, i.e. there is a single anther consisting of a fertile part and a sterile petaloid part. A narrow petal represents the pistil that is connected to a   3-chambered ovary.The polen are sherical and of variable types, with a smooth exine with no visible pore. As can be seen from the captured images, the pollen are seen to be in various stages of development.


The pollinatiom mechanism in Canna flower is peculiar, as the pollen is shed on the style within the unopened bud favouring self pollination.

On consulting the literature (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00192766), it was seen the polymorphic nature of pollen and unusual tapetum and non-aperturate pollen in Canna have been discussed by some authors.



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