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The Rose' Reproductive Anatomy
By Joan Monteith

The antherThe anther (left) is the organ at the upper end of a stamen that produces pollen. The anther in this picture is beginning to discharge the powdery yellow pollen.

The stigmaThis is a close up of part of a stigma, taken under a regular microscope by shining light through the stigma (transmitted light). This shows the gelatinous translucent character of the bumps and protrusions. The depth of field limits what can be seen. The yellow circles are pollen. Although there is pollen showing in this picture, when viewed under a magnifying glass, it did not look like there was any pollen on this stigma.

The female reproductive parts of a rose consist of several parts collectedly known as a pistil. (at right) The outermost part, the stigma, is where pollen is applied. After the pollen germinates, the pollen tube proceeds down the style to the ovary. This picture shows both stigmas and styles. The yellow on the outer edges of the stigmas is pollen.

close-up of stigmasThis is a closer view of some stigmas from another rose. (below, left) Like stamens, stigmas can come in different colors. The texture of the stigma--somewhat like a cauliflower--is beginning to show in this photo.


This is a close-up of one stigma, (at right, below) and the texture is more noticble. The bumps and protrusions cover the entire surface of the stigma, although the depth of field of the camera limits what you can see. Looking at this, it is easier to understand how delicate the stigmas are, and how fast they can dry out. Closer still: stigma


This is a picture (below, left) of a stigma and style taken using a scanning electron microscope. The much greater depth of field allows the entire style/stigma to be seen. When the stigma is ready to receive pollen, it exudes a clear sticky fluid. This stigma has already produced that fluid, and that is the wrinkled covering you see over the top of the stigma. one stigma, by SEM


This is a closeup (at right, below) of the edge of another stigma using a scanning electron microscope. Again, the sticky fluid has covered the surface of the stigma, although the angle of the picture gives a better idea of the surface texture. The faint bumps on the surface are individual cells. SEM image of another stigmatic surface

This is another scanning electron microscope picture of part (below, left) of a stigma, perhaps giving a better view of some of the surface texture. The fluid covering of the stigma is not as thick near the center of the picture, and the lumps you see are individual cells.Stigmatic surface, another detail

This is an even closer view (at right, below) of part of the stigma in the previous scanning electron microscope picture. Detail of stigmatic surface

(below, left) This is a VERY thin slice (less than one cell thick) of a stigma as seen under a regular microscope. Each irregular oval is a cell. As you can see, the protrusions are only several cells wide.A cross section of stigma cells

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Original photographs, micrographs and site content (this article) © Joan Monteith 2000.


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