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Maple flower: anther with pollen

 
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17985
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:29 pm    Post subject: Maple flower: anther with pollen Reply with quote



This is another maple flower, like the one shown HERE and (much closer) HERE.

What's different about the current flower is that the anther is starting to spill its pollen.

I'm unclear about exactly how this tree is pollinated. At http://www.aboutmapletrees.com/, I read that
Quote:
The trees are self-pollinating, and some of the clusters of flowers are even able to pollinate themselves. The most common form of pollination comes from the wind, but flies and other insects will occasionally cause cross-pollination.

The large stigmas of these flowers seems consistent with wind pollination, but somehow this pollen doesn't seem like the sort of stuff that's going to blow around very easily.

Maybe I shouldn't be too surprised, though, that things seem a bit confused. If I recall correctly, one of the features that made this particular tree attractive as a yard planting was that it does not produce large numbers of fertile seeds. Where the infertility comes from, I don't know. Perhaps another member does?

Hope you enjoy the pictures. These flowers look so "blah" from a distance, you'd never guess that they look like this up close!

--Rik

Technical: Canon 300D with Nikon CF N Plan Achro 10X NA 0.30 objective at 10X. Electronic flash, 105 frames in 0.025" (0.00025" average step). Subject size as shown, about 1.5 mm square.
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Bruce Williams



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 1120
Location: Northamptonshire, England

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another fascinating glimpse at the secret life of flowers Rik and yes, the pollen does look more like the sticky variety doesn't it. Have you had a look at the pollen grains under a microscope?

Lovely vibrant colours.

Bruce Smile
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17985
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Bruce!

No, I've not looked at the pollen at any higher magnification yet.

Yes, the color of these things is amazing. It's more than a bit surreal to put one under a magnifying glass and shine a light on it. Shocked

--Rik
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