(3/2. 'Botanische Zeitung' January 1, 1864 page 2.)
The absolute sterility (judging from the experiments of 1861) of the long-styled plants with their own-form pollen led me to examine into its apparent cause; and the results are so curious that they are worth giving in detail. The experiments were tried on plants grown in pots and brought successively into the house.
Pollen from a short-styled plant was placed on the five stigmas of a long-styled flower, and these, after thirty hours, were found deeply penetrated by a multitude of pollen-tubes, far too numerous to be counted; the stigmas had also become discoloured and twisted. I repeated this experiment on another flower, and in eighteen hours the stigmas were penetrated by a multitude of long pollen- tubes. This is what might have been expected, as the union is a legitimate one. The converse experiment was likewise tried, and pollen from a long-styled flower was placed on the stigmas of a short-styled flower, and in twenty-four hours the stigmas were discoloured, twisted, and penetrated by numerous pollen-tubes; and this, again, is what might have been expected, as the union was a legitimate one.
Pollen from a long-styled flower was placed on all five stigmas of a long-styled flower on a separate plant: after nineteen hours the stigmas were dissected, and only a single pollen-grain had emitted a tube, and this was a very short one. To make sure that the pollen was good, I took in this case, and in most of the other cases, pollen either from the same anther or from the same flower, and proved it to be good by placing it on the stigma of a short-styled plant, and found numerous pollen-tubes emitted.
Repeated last experiment, and placed own-form pollen on all five stigmas of a long-styled flower; after nineteen hours and a half, not one single grain had emitted its tube.
Repeated the experiment, with the same result after twenty-four hours.
Repeated last experiment, and, after leaving pollen on for nineteen hours, put on an additional quantity of own-form pollen on all five stigmas. After an interval of three days, the stigmas were examined, and, instead of being discoloured and twisted, they were straight and fresh-coloured. Only one grain had emitted a quite short tube, which was drawn out of the stigmatic tissue without being ruptured.
The following experiments are more striking:--
I placed own-form pollen on three of the stigmas of a long-styled flower, and pollen from a short-styled flower on the other two stigmas. After twenty-two hours these two stigmas were discoloured, slightly twisted, and penetrated by the tubes of numerous pollen-grains: the other three stigmas, covered with their own-form pollen, were fresh, and all the pollen-grains were loose; but I did not dissect the whole stigma.
Experiment repeated in the same manner, with the same result.
Experiment repeated, but the stigmas were carefully examined after an interval of only five hours and a half. The two stigmas with pollen from a short-styled flower were penetrated by innumerable tubes, which were as yet short, and the stigmas themselves were not at all discoloured. The three stigmas covered with their own-form pollen were not penetrated by a single pollen-tube.
Put pollen of a short-styled flower on a single long-styled stigma, and own-form pollen on the other four stigmas; after twenty-four hours the one stigma was somewhat discoloured and twisted, and penetrated by many long tubes: the other four stigmas were quite straight and fresh; but on dissecting them I found that three pollen-grains had protruded very short tubes into the tissue.
Repeated the experiment, with the same result after twenty-four hours, excepting that only two own-form grains had penetrated the stigmatic tissue with their tubes to a very short depth. The one stigma, which was deeply penetrated by a multitude of tubes from the short-styled pollen, presented a conspicuous difference in being much curled, half-shrivelled, and discoloured, in comparison with the other four straight and bright pink stigmas.