School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Pollen Zoom Gallery

By Dr. Biology

show/hide words to know

  • Faux: fake.
  • Grain: small hard particle such a grain of sand. A unit of measure roughly equal to single seed from a typical cereal. 1 grain = 64.79891 milligrams.
  • Micrometer: a very small unit of length. There are one million micrometers in a meter.
  • Microscopist: a scientist that mainly uses a microscope in their research.

Pollen Up-close

Pollen comes in many shapes and sizes. These are just a few of the thousands of examples. Click on any of the pollen grains in the gallery below and use the zoom tool to explore the amazing shapes and textures of pollen. These images are all from a scanning electron microscope (S.E.M.). We also have a companion story abut pollen and how it is used to solve crimes that you might like to check out.


Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Acacia berlandieri</em> - Guajillo Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Amblyolepis setigera</em> - Huisache daisy Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Brazoria_pulcherrima</em> - Centerville brazos-mint
Acacia berlandieri
Guajillo
Amblyolepis setigera
Huisache daisy
Brazoria pulcherrima
Centerville brazos-mint

Pollen Grain S.E.M - Cannibis sativa - Marijuana, Hemp Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Cardiospermum corindum</em> - Faux persil< Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Claytonia virginica</em> - Virginia spring beauty
Cannibis sativa
Marijuana, Hemp
Cardiospermum corindum
Faux persil
Claytonia virginica
Virginia springbeauty

Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Ilex_opaca</em> - American holly Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Ipomopsis rubra</em> - Standing-cypress Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Liquidambar styraciflua</em> - Sweetgum
Ilex opaca
American holly
Ipomopsis rubra
Standing-cypress
Liquidambar styraciflua
Sweetgum

Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Minuartia drummondii</em> - Drummond's stitchwort Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Opuntia stricata</em> - Erect pricklypear cactus Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Pinus echinata</em> - Shortleaf pine
Minuartia drummondii
Drummond's stitchwort
Opuntia stricata*
Erect pricklypear
Pinus echinata
Shortleaf pine

Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Polygonella americana</em> - Southern jointweed Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Salix exigua</em> - Narrowleaf willow Pollen Grain S.E.M - <em> Sedum nuttallianum</em> - Yellow stonecrop
Polygonella americana
Southern jointweed
Salix exigua
Narrowleaf willow
Sedum nuttallianum
Yellow stonecrop

In case you are wondering why there are white lines on each image, they are used to show the size of each pollen grain. Microscopists call these lines scale bars, because they let a person know the size of an object. All the white lines below are equal to10 micrometers except Opuntia* which is 25 micrometers.

Want to see some more pictures of pollen? You can try out this site from the USDA. (opens in a new window)

ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.