Pollen

Cross section of a male cone of a pine tree. The scales of the cone support microsporangia, which produce a large number of pollen grains

Pollen is a powder made of pollen grains, which produce sperm cells (male cells used for reproduction) of seed plants. The pollen grains are actually haploid male gametophytes.[1]

In flowering plants

Development of pollen grains

The anther contains microsporangia. Each microsporangium contains pollen mother cells. These undergo meiosis, and produce pollen grains, which produce the male gametes (sperm).

The pollen is released by the opening of the anther. The pollen is carried by some agent (wind, or some animal) to the receptive surface of the carpel of the same or another flower. This process is known as pollination. After successful pollination, the pollen grain (immature microgametophyte) completes its development by growing a pollen tube and undergoing mitosis to produce two male gametes.

Pollination

There are two main kinds of pollination. One kind happens when pollen from a stamen sticks to the pistil of the same plant.[2] That is self-pollination.

a sweet bee!
Bees help plants. They spread pollen from flower to flower. Other animals that spread pollen are butterflies, birds, and bats.

The other kind of pollination takes place when pollen from one plant travels to the pistil of another plant. Most plants use this kind of pollination. Plants need help for this kind of pollination, because they cannot move. So, they need another way to move pollen from one plant to another plant.[2]

The wind helps move pollen between plants. The pollen of some plants is very light.[2] Wind blows it from the flowers on one plant to the flowers on another plant. The wind can move pollen a long way before the pollen hits the sticky top of a pistil.

Animals also help move pollen between plants. Many flowers are colourful and their scent attracts some animals. These flowers also make a sweet juice called nectar. Sometimes an animal, such as a bee, sees or smells a flower.[2] Then, it lands on the flower to get nectar. As the bee drinks the nectar, the stamens brush pollen onto its body. Then, the bee flies to another flower that has a pistil. The pollen on the bee's body brushes onto the sticky top of the flower's pistil. The pollen is used as protein for the bee larvae.

The plants help feed the animal. In return, the animal helps the plants by moving pollen from flower to flower.[2] The relationship has evolved together; it is a kind of co-evolution called mutualism or symbiosis.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Stuifmeel
العربية: حبوب اللقاح
asturianu: Polen
azərbaycanca: Çiçək tozu
башҡортса: Һеркә
беларуская: Пылок
български: Цветен прашец
bosanski: Polen
català: Pol·len
Чӑвашла: Шăрка
čeština: Pyl
Cymraeg: Paill
dansk: Pollen
Deutsch: Pollen
eesti: Õietolm
Ελληνικά: Γύρη
English: Pollen
español: Polen
Esperanto: Poleno
euskara: Polen
فارسی: گرده
français: Pollen
Gaeilge: Pailin
Gàidhlig: Poilean
galego: Pole
한국어: 꽃가루
Հայերեն: Ծաղկափոշի
हिन्दी: पराग
hrvatski: Cvjetni pelud
Ido: Poleno
Bahasa Indonesia: Serbuk sari
interlingua: Polline
íslenska: Frjóduft
italiano: Polline
қазақша: Тозаң
Kiswahili: Mbelewele
Latina: Pollen
latviešu: Putekšņi
lietuvių: Žiedadulkė
magyar: Virágpor
македонски: Полен
മലയാളം: പരാഗം
مازِرونی: گرده (نمین)
Bahasa Melayu: Debunga
Nederlands: Stuifmeel
日本語: 花粉
norsk: Pollen
norsk nynorsk: Pollen
occitan: Pollèn
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Chang donachalari
پنجابی: پراگ (پھل)
Plattdüütsch: Pollen
polski: Pyłek
português: Pólen
română: Polen
Runa Simi: Sisa
русский: Пыльца
Scots: Pollen
sicilianu: Pòllini
slovenčina: Včelí peľ
slovenščina: Cvetni prah
српски / srpski: Полен
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pelud
suomi: Siitepöly
svenska: Pollen
தமிழ்: மகரந்தம்
తెలుగు: పుప్పొడి
Türkçe: Polen
Türkmençe: Tozgajyk
українська: Пилок
Tiếng Việt: Phấn hoa
中文: 花粉