Quiz answer – difference between spores and pollen

You got it!  Horsetails don’t produce pollen, and those airborne particles are spores.  Primitive plants such as mosses, ferns, and horsetails don’t have the same reproductive structures as flowering plants and conifers. Instead of producing seeds, they form tiny, windborne spores that can be mistaken for pollen.

(To its credit, the Seattle Times corrected this error the next day.)

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

2 thoughts on “Quiz answer – difference between spores and pollen”

  1. Pollen: Plant sperm LOL

    Spores: Hmmmm, clones of self, all the same plant ? Who really knows what’s going on underneath the ground through the mycorrhizal grid.


    I never use the word primitive, I don’t like it, but I know what they mean by it.

    I just look at different plants as being a different part of a living ecosystem serving a beneficial unique function.

  2. Spores aren’t clones – they’re just like seeds but they don’t have the same structures as seeds. They are products of fertilization, just like seeds.

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