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A Range of Colors - Pollen

Karl Foord, Extension Educator, Horticulture

I was photographing honeybees working an early pollen source last spring - Allium Allium christophii 'Star of Persia' (Photo 1).

Karl Foord

Photo 1: Honeybee on Allium christophii 'Star of Persia'

I noticed that the pollen carried by the honeybee was an interesting grey color. This led me to wonder about pollen colors. I did some research and came up with a dizzying array of pollen colors represented in Table 1).

Karl Foord

Table 1: Chart of Pollen Color of Some Selected Plants

Photo 2 shows a bumblebee with the off white pollen of Sedum.

Karl Foord

Photo 2: Bumblebee on Showy Stonecrop Sedum sieboldii
'Star of Persia'

As spring approaches keep an eye out for the array of pollen colors offered by our spring flowers (Photo 3) and carried by our insect pollinators (Photo 4).

Karl Foord

Photo 3: Scilla siberica Siberian Squill with blue pollen

Karl Foord

Photo 4: Honeybee working Scilla showing corbicula or pollen basket with blue Scilla pollen

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