The nice spring weather has come and gone. With that nice spring weather also came pollen…everywhere! Although it is often seen as a nuisance for triggering allergies, pollen is very interesting to look at magnified. You may be surprised at how different various pollen types look.


The familiar yellow haze on our cars and everywhere else can be annoying. But the variation in the appearance of different types of pollen at higher magnifications can be surprising.

Pollen close up:

Empress Tree Flower Pollen – This tree (Paulownia tomentosa) produces a small grain size pollen with a “bean” or “seed” shape and longitudinal folds.

Empress Tree Flower Pollen 2 – While the wall surfaces appear smooth at lower magnifications, a mottled appearance begins to appear at higher magnification.
Gala Apple Blossom Pollen – The pollen grains shown here are still seated on the anther surface. They are quite large with a smooth wall surface, and appear almost “fluffy” with only a few folds.
Pink Azalea Pollen – These are relatively large pollen grains with a faceted wall structure.
Pink Azalea Pollen 2 – At higher magnification, the wall surface has the appearance of connected groups of dimpled facets with a “stitch” that connects the facets.
Russian White Lilac Pollen – These medium-size grains have a mottled wall surface with one or two folds.

Russian White Lilac Pollen 2 – At higher magnification the folds on some grains actually look like holes. The wall surface texture is also clearly visible.