MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Why is pollen always green?

Date: Thu Aug 23 20:52:33 2001
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 998581287.Bt

Before you take the principal's word for it that all pollen is green, you 
should suggest your students look at pollen of as many species as possible and 
see if that is true. This is a good time of year to look at flowers because 
there are many outdoor bedding plants blooming. You might also look at 
greenhouse plants, cut flowers in a florist shop, houseplants such as African 
violets, weeds, grasses, and vegetables like corn, tomatoes, beans, etc. If you 
can't see live plants, you can look at photos in books or on websites.

If after making observations, you find that all pollen is green, then you can 
consider reasons why. One obvious reason is that plant tissue is often green 
because it contains chlorophyll.

A quick search on located a page that says corn pollen can be yellow 
or white so that seems to undermine the principal's hypothesis. An page says pollen is usually yellow, but sometimes brown, 
purple, red or white. 


Yellow and White Pollen in Corn

Pollen Color

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