Histogram comparison and meaningful statistics in flow cytometry is probably the most widely encountered mathematical problem in flow cytometry. Ideally, a test for determining the statistical equality or difference of flow cytometric distributions will identify the significant differences or similarities of the obtained histograms. This situation is of particular interest when flow cytometry is used to study the heterogeneity of axenic bacterial populations. We have statistically measured the heterogeneity of successive cytometric measures, the modifications produced after 20 transfers from the same culture, and the differences between 20 subcultures of identical origin. The heterogeneity of the bacterial populations and the similarity of the obtained 360 histograms were analysed by standard statistical methods. We have studied bacterial axenic cultures in order to detect, quantify and interpret their cytometric heterogeneity, and to assess intrinsic differences and differences produced by laboratory manipulations. We concluded that the standard axenic cultures have a considerable intrinsic cellular and molecular heterogeneity. We suggest that the heterogeneity we have detected basically has two origins: cell size diversity and cell cycle variations.