The upper and smaller grains from the long-styled form; the lower and larger grains from the short- styled.)

Mr. J. Scott examined 100 plants growing near Edinburgh, and found 44 to be long-styled, and 56 short-styled; and I took by chance 79 plants in Kent, of which 39 were long-styled and 40 short-styled; so that the two lots together consisted of 83 long-styled and 96 short-styled plants. In the long-styled form the pistil is to that of the short-styled in length, from an average of five measurements, as 100 to 51. The stigma in the long-styled form is conspicuously more globose and much more papillose than in the short-styled, in which latter it is depressed on the summit; it is equally broad in the two forms. In both it stands nearly, but not exactly, on a level with the anthers of the opposite form; for it was found, from an average of 15 measurements, that the distance between the middle of the stigma and the middle of the anthers in the short- styled form is to that in the long-styled as 100 to 93. The anthers do not differ in size in the two forms. The pollen-grains from the short-styled flowers before they were soaked in water were decidedly broader, in proportion to their length, than those from the long-styled; after being soaked they were relatively to those from the long-styled as 100 to 71 in diameter, and more transparent. A large number of flowers from the two forms were compared, and 12 of the finest flowers from each lot were measured, but there was no sensible difference between them in size. Nine long-styled and eight short-styled plants growing together in a state of nature were marked, and their capsules collected after they had been naturally fertilised; and the seeds from the short-styled weighed exactly twice as much as those from an equal number of long-styled plants. So that the primrose resembles the cowslip in the short-styled plants, being the more productive of the two forms. The results of my trials on the fertility of the two forms, when legitimately and illegitimately fertilised, are given in Table 1.9.

TABLE 1.9. Primula vulgaris.

Column 1: Nature of the Union. Column 2: Number of Flowers fertilised. Column 3: Number of good Capsules produced. Column 4: Maximum Number of Seeds in any one Capsule. Column 5: Minimum Number of Seeds in any one Capsule. Column 6: Average Number of Seeds per Capsule.

Long-styled by pollen of short-styled. Legitimate union : 12 : 11 : 77 : 47 : 66.9.

Long-styled by own-form pollen. Illegitimate union : 21 : 14 : 66 : 30 : 52.2.

Short-styled by pollen of long-styled. Legitimate union: 8 : 7 : 75 : 48 : 65.0.

Short-styled by own-form pollen. Illegitimate union : 18 : 7 : 43 : 5 : 18.8 (This average is perhaps rather too low).


The two legitimate unions together : 20 : 18 : 77 : 47 : 66.0.

The two illegitimate unions together : 39 : 21 : 66 : 5 : 35.5 (This average is perhaps rather too low).

We may infer from this table that the fertility of the two legitimate unions taken together is to that of the two illegitimate unions together, as judged by the proportional number of flowers which when fertilised in the two methods yielded capsules, as 100 to 60. If we judge by the average number of seeds per capsule produced by the two kinds of unions, the ratio is as 100 to 54; but this latter figure is perhaps rather too low. It is surprising how rarely insects can be seen during the day visiting the flowers, but I have occasionally observed small kinds of bees at work; I suppose, therefore, that they are commonly fertilised by nocturnal Lepidoptera. The long-styled plants when protected from insects yield a considerable number of capsules, and they thus differ remarkably from the same form of the cowslip, which is quite sterile under the same circumstances. Twenty-three spontaneously self-fertilised capsules from this form contained, on an average, 19.2 seeds. The short-styled plants produced fewer spontaneously self-fertilised capsules, and fourteen of them contained only 6.2 seeds per capsule.

The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species Page 17

19th Century English Literature

Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin

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