Abstract A novel functional polymer resin with extremely rapid and selective boron sorption ability is reported. Thus, 2-hydroxyethylamino 2,3-propanediol was introduced to dangling poly(glycidyl methacrylate) graft chains on crosslinked poly(styrene-divinyl benzene) (PS-DVB) microspheres (210–420 μm), by ring opening of the oxirane units involved. The resulting hairy polymer with multi-hydroxyalkylamine functions on the graft chains was demonstrated to bind boric acid (3.28 mmol g −1) selectively; similar to ordinary bead polymers with the same chelating units tethered directly to the particle surfaces. Significant difference was unusually rapid boron uptake ability of this new polymer material, due to partial mobility of the dangling grafts carrying the boron chelating ligands. Batch kinetic experiments showed that, 1 g of the polymer sample is able to remove trace boron (100 ppm) from 100 mL aqueous solution (non-buffered) within contact-times less than 2 min. This is very short time comparing with those of ordinary functional bead polymers (i.e. 30 min). Also regeneration of the boron loaded resin by acid treatment was shown to be reasonably fast. Effect of pH, presence of some foreign ions on the boron sorption and regenerability of the polymer were investigated and compared with those of the ordinary functional bead polymers.