Join The Pollen Nation!
Join The Pollen Nation!
Join The Pollen Nation!
University of California
Join The Pollen Nation!

Wind

wind

  • Anemophily is the process when pollen is transported by air currents from one individual plant to another.
  • About 12% of the world’s flowering plants are wind-pollinated, including grasses and cereal crops, many trees, and the infamous allergenic ragweeds.

  • Wind pollinating plants release billions of pollen grains into the air so that a lucky few will hit their targets on other plants.
  • Many of the world's most important crop plants are wind-pollinated. These include wheat, rice, corn, rye, barley, and oats.
  • Nut producing trees such as walnuts, pecans and pistachios are usually wind-pollinated as well.

  • Many economically important trees are also wind-pollinated, such as pines, spruces, firs and many hardwood trees.
  • Wind-pollinated plants don’t normally have flowers, but when they do they are small, don’t have perfumes or nectar, produce large amounts of light pollen, have stamens and stigmas exposed to air currents to either catch or distribute pollen and don’t normally have flower petals.
  • Wind-pollinated plants aren’t focused on attracting pollinating organisms. Instead, they produce larger quantities of light, dry pollen from small, plain flowers that can be carried on the wind.

Walnut catkin

  • Female structures on wind pollinated plants are adapted to capture the passing pollen from the air, but the majority of the pollen goes to waste.
  • Pollen produced by these plants is of very low nutritional benefit to insects, having low protein content, and usually will only be gathered by them when other pollen sources are scarce.
  • The pollen of this plant group frequently brings out symptoms of hayfever and allergies among those sensitive to the pollen.

Sources Cited:

USDA Forest Service:  Wind and Water Pollination

Wind Pollination (Anemophily)

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