The structure, distribution and possible roles of mitochondria in growing pollen tubes is reviewed. Diverse microscopical methods have been applied to the analysis of mitochondria in pollen, with a predominance in recent years on vital fluorescent probes. We review the application of different dyes to pollen tubes, with a special emphasis on the ratiometric dye JC-1. Morphometric data shows a concentration of mitochondria in the subapical area of pollen tubes, apparently with more frequency of mitochondria with membrane depolarization when compared with the rest of the tube. Remarkably, data from various species and from transcriptomics indicates that different species may have different respiratory adaptations, ranging from high oxygen consumption in the early steps of germination, to energy production and growth on almost anoxic conditions. Various studies also showed that the pollen of many species is refractory to some common respiration inhibitors, including the ones from the alternative pathway. Given the conspicuous distribution and apparent subapical accumulation of mitochondria, we speculate on their functional relationship with known apical ion gradients that seem to characterize pollen tubes.