Methods for accurate and rapid determination of starch, amylose, and amylopectin in plant tissues are described. They are based on simplified extraction of starch with 32% perchloric acid and selective retention of the starch-iodine complex on a glass fiber disk (Whatman GF/A). The starch on the disk is dissolved in 0.75 M sulfuric acid and estimated with phenol. For amylose and amylopectin determination the starch on the disk is dissolved in perchloric acid, precipitated with ethanol, and retained on a 10-cm glass fiber strip. Both polysaccharides are separated by a chromatographic procedure involving development of the strip in a mixture of ethanol and dimethyl sulfoxide and in dimethyl sulfoxide. The strip is washed in ethanol and stained with iodine or used for polysaccharide quantitation. As little as 5 micrograms of starch or its components present in different amounts of plant material can be estimated.