Pollen and spore collections

The Botany Department’s palynology collections include specimens of pollen and spores as well as an extensive set of light microscope and electron microscope images.

The collections consist of 3 types of material:

  • slides
  • electron microscope stubs
  • stereoscan micrographs

Slide collection

The slide collection is the major part of the collection and consists of:

  • permanent slides of acetolysed pollen grains
  • spores mounted in glycerine

There are approximately 52,000 individual slides, of which 13,000 form the basis of the main reference collection and the remainder are duplicates.

Slides are made up mainly from herbarium specimens and are cross referenced to these in our main collections. They represent a wide range of flowering and non-flowering plant families from all parts of the world with a strong emphasis on the northwest European area.