I have, however, occasionally trusted to a difference between the two forms in the length of the pistil alone, or in the length of the stigma together with its more or less papillose condition; and in one instance differences of this kind have been proved by trials made on the fertility of the two forms, to be sufficient evidence.
The second sub-group above referred to consists of hermaphrodite plants, which bear two kinds of flowers--the one perfect and fully expanded--the other minute, completely closed, with the petals rudimentary, often with some of the anthers aborted, and the remaining ones together with the stigmas much reduced in size; yet these flowers are perfectly fertile. They have been called by Dr. Kuhn cleistogamic, and they will be described in the last chapter of this volume. (Introduction/3. 'Botanische Zeitung' 1867 page 65. Several plants are known occasionally to produce flowers destitute of a corolla; but they belong to a different class of cases from cleistogamic flowers. This deficiency seems to result from the conditions to which the plants have been subjected, and partakes of the nature of a monstrosity. All the flowers on the same plant are commonly affected in the same manner. Such cases, though they have sometimes been ranked as cleistogamic, do not come within our present scope: see Dr. Maxwell Masters 'Vegetable Teratology' 1869 page 403.) They are manifestly adapted for self- fertilisation, which is effected at the cost of a wonderfully small expenditure of pollen; whilst the perfect flowers produced by the same plant are capable of cross-fertilisation. Certain aquatic species, when they flower beneath the water, keep their corollas closed, apparently to protect their pollen; they might therefore be called cleistogamic, but for reasons assigned in the proper place are not included in the present sub-group. Several cleistogamic species, as we shall hereafter see, bury their ovaries or young capsules in the ground; but some few other plants behave in the same manner; and, as they do not bury all their flowers, they might have formed a small separate subdivision.
Another interesting subdivision consists of certain plants, discovered by H. Muller, some individuals of which bear conspicuous flowers adapted for cross- fertilisation by the aid of insects, and others much smaller and less conspicuous flowers, which have often been slightly modified so as to ensure self-fertilisation. Lysimachia vulgaris, Euphrasia officinalis, Rhinanthus crista-galli, and Viola tricolor come under this head. (Introduction/4. H. Muller 'Nature' September 25, 1873 volume 8 page 433 and November 20, 1873 volume 9 page 44. Also 'Die Befruchtung der Blumen' etc. 1873 page 294.) The smaller and less conspicuous flowers are not closed, but as far as the purpose which they serve is concerned, namely, the assured propagation of the species, they approach in nature cleistogamic flowers; but they differ from them by the two kinds being produced on distinct plants.
With many plants, the flowers towards the outside of the inflorescence are much larger and more conspicuous than the central ones. As I shall not have occasion to refer to plants of this kind in the following chapters, I will here give a few details respecting them. It is familiar to every one that the ray-florets of the Compositae often differ remarkably from the others; and so it is with the outer flowers of many Umbelliferae, some Cruciferae and a few other families. Several species of Hydrangea and Viburnum offer striking instances of the same fact. The Rubiaceous genus Mussaenda presents a very curious appearance from some of the flowers having the tip of one of the sepals developed into a large petal-like expansion, coloured either white or purple. The outer flowers in several Acanthaceous genera are large and conspicuous but sterile; the next in order are smaller, open, moderately fertile and capable of cross-fertilisation; whilst the central ones are cleistogamic, being still smaller, closed and highly fertile; so that here the inflorescence consists of three kinds of flowers. (Introduction/5.