A preparation technique has been developed for plants with small chromosomes, which produces large numbers of good-quality mitotic preparations. The technique employs a hydrochloric acid treatment to hydrolyse the cytoplasm, facilitating the subsequent removal of cytoplasmic debris. The evaporative force of a methanol-based fixative is exploited to disperse the cytoplasm and to deposit the chromosomes in a single optical plane. This technique permits detailed observations of chromosome morphology and karyotyping. The mitotic preparations are also suitable for the complex analysis associated with in-situ hybridization, as in studies of genome interaction in plant hybrids.