Click on the name of a different pollen below to find out more about it,
or click on the other microscope for a different view of this pollen.

Bur Oak Cattail Cocklebur Cottonwood
Dandelion Kentucky Bluegrass Pigweed Ragweed
River Birch Russian Thistle Sunflower White Pine

Helianthus annuus

If you pick a sunflower, you're actually picking hundreds of flowers. In the brown center of each flowerhead are rows of unopened male and female flowers. When the male flowers are ready to shed their pollen, they send up long threads, called stamens, full of sticky pollen. Insects such as honey bees and long-tongued flies brush up against the pollen before flying off to another plant. This is how the pollen spreads to other flowers to form seeds. Some sunflower pollen is also spread by wind. The wind-borne pollen may contribute to late summer hay fever, but it gets blamed for more than its fair share. The pollen is waxy and has long sharp spines. Instead of catching the wind, it tends to clump onto other pollen and drop. The sunflower is a true American native. In late summer the cheery flowers line roadsides from Canada to South America. These wild sunflowers are relatives of the gigantic ones--with flowers the size of dinner plates--that farmers now plant as a crop.