Glossary of Pollen Terminology

Amb – outline of a pollen grain seen in polar view. Usually, but not always, the same as equatorial outline.

Annulus – ring-like structure surrounding the pore, sharply differentiated from surrounding exine.

Aperture – opening or thin part of exine, usually associated with germinal apparatus.

Aperturate – with furrows, pores, or opening of some kind.

Apolar – grain without distinct polarity.

Aspidate - pores protruding.

Atectate – lacking a tectum. Used for primitive angiosperms lacking columellae.

Baculate –sculpturing containing rods or pillar-like processes, usually arising from the foot layer and often supporting the tectum.

Baculum – rod-like sculpturing element, with equal thickness throughout length.

Bilateral – pollen with a single plane of symmetry.

Bisaccate – pollen bearing two bladder-like sacci.

Bladders – the wing-like sacs in bisaccate pollen grains.

Circular – shape round in outline

Clavate – sculpturing elements with club-shaped swollen tips, thicker toward the apex.

Colpate – with at least one colpi, an elongated groove or furrow.

Colporate – aperture containing pores.

Colpus – elongated aperture shaped like a furrow, more than twice as long as broad.

Columellae – rod-like elements of the pollen wall extending from the foot layer to the tectum, supporting either a tectum or caput (expanded head of columella).

Costate – pollen with rib-like appearance of furrow edge.

Dicolpate – with two colpi, furrows.

Dimorphic – with two forms.

Diporate – with 2 pores.

Dyad – two pollen grains adhering together and dispersed as a unit.

Echinate – spiny sculpturing, with pointed processes > 1 μm high.

Elliptical – longer than wide.

Equator – plane halfway between proximal and distal poles, encircling the grain.

Eurypalynous – taxonomic group in which the pollen is variable between species.

Exine – the resistant outer wall of pollen grain.

Fenestrate – with large window-like opening (fenestrae) on the surface in a regular arrangement.

Foot layer – innermost layer of the outer pollen wall.

Fossulate – surface with grooved sculpturing pattern.

Foveolate – surface surface pitted, pits at least 1 μm in diameter.

Fusiform – spindle-shaped.

Fusiform - tapered at each end.

Gemmate – surface with bead-like sculpturing pattern, elements (gemmae) ball-shaped with constricted bases.

Heterocolpate – with two kinds of furrows on one pollen grain.

Heteropolar – poles dissimilar in shape, pattern, or arrangement of apertures.

Heteropolar – pollen asymmetrical, often with pores concentrated in one hemisphere.

Inaperturate – lacking apertures; no apparent furrows, pores or opening of any kind (or nearly so).

Isopolar – poles symmetrical, indistinguishable, with pores equally distributed in each hemisphere.

Lacunae – window-like opening in fenestrate pollen grain.

Lobate – with a lobed shape in polar view.

Lophate – surface with large window-like openings (lacunae), the tectum continuous across.

Monad – pollen grain appearing single.

Monocolpate – with one colpus, a single furrow.

Monoporate – surface with one pore.

Muri – wall-like raised portion of reticulate sculpturing.

Oblate – grain distinctly flattened at poles, wider at equator than at poles.

Octad – eight pollen grains adhering together and dispersed as a unit.

Operculate – aperture provided with lid covering aperture, separate from surrounding exine.

Ovate – longer than wide, broad at one base.

Pentacolpate – with five apertures.

Pericolpate – colpi distributed more or less evenly over surface of spheroidal grain..

Pericolporate – pollen with numerous furrows with pores.

Periporate - numerous pores distributed more or less evenly over spheroidal  pollen grain.

Polar view – view in which the polar axis is directed towards the observer.

Pollenkitt – sticky material produced by the tapetum which may hold pollen together during dispersal.

Pollinium – waxy clump of pollen grains adhering together and dispersed as a unit.

Polyad – more than 8 pollen grains adhering together and dispersed as a unit.

Porate – with pore-like apertures in exine.

Prolate – pollen grain longer in polar axis than equatorial axis, longer than wide..

Psilate – surface smooth, with no visible features

Quadrangular - 4-angled.

Quinquangular - 5-angled.

Reticulate – surface with net-like sculpturing pattern, composed of muri enclosing lumina.

Rugulate – surface with irregularly distributed strips at least twice as long as broad.

Scabrate – surface with small isodiametric rough spots, less than 1 μm diameter.

Semi-tectate – partially tectate exine, tectum broken up in irregular pattern.

Size Classes – length of longest axis

Size Minute - <10 μm

Size Small - 10-25 μm

Size Medium - 25-50 μm

Size Large - 50-100 μm

Size Very large - 100-200 μm

Size Gigantic - >200 μm

Spheroidal – more or less spherical.

Spinulose – pattern composed of many spinules.

Stenopalynous – a group in which the pollen is very similar among species.

Stephanocolpate – with four or more furrows centered on equator.

Stephanocolporate – pollen with four or more equatorial furrows, each with a pore.

Stephanoporate – pollen with four or more equatorial pores.

Striate – surface with parallel ridges and striae (groove between ridges).

Sulcus – latitudinal elongated aperture, not orientated toward the poles.

Syncolpate – pollen grain with furrows extending to poles and fusing with other furrows, sometimes forming spiral, or circular pattern.

Tectate – exine with a tectum, an outermost layer often covered with sculpturing.

Tetrad – four pollen grains adhering together and dispersed as a unit.

Triangular - 3-angled.

Tricolpate – with three colpi, furrows.

Tricolporate – pollen with three furrows containing pores.

Triporate – with 3 pores.

Tuberculate – covered with knobby projections.

Verruculate – surface with wart-like pattern, covered with small non-constricted projections (verrucae).

Vesiculate – pollen with two bladders or wings.

Viscin threads – thread-like hairs attached to pollen, resistant to acetolysis, characteristic of Onagraceae.

Zonoaperturate – apertures situated only at equator.

Zonoporate – pores situated only at equator









New Arrivals