It may be remembered that in the long-styled form of Linum perenne each separate stigma rotates on its own axis, when the flower is mature, so as to turn its papillose surface outwards. There can be no doubt that this movement, which is confined to the long-styled form, is effected in order that the proper surface of the stigma should receive pollen brought by insects from the other form. Now with Faramea, as Fritz Muller shows, it is the stamens which rotate on their axes in one of the two forms, namely, the short-styled, in order that their pollen should be brushed off by insects and transported to the stigmas of the other form. In the long-styled flowers the anthers of the short enclosed stamens do not rotate on their axes, but dehisce on their inner sides, as is the common rule with the Rubiaceae; and this is the best position for the adherence of the pollen-grains to the proboscis of an entering insect. Fritz Muller therefore infers that as the plant became heterostyled, and as the stamens of the short- styled form increased in length, they gradually acquired the highly beneficial power of rotating on their own axes. But he has further shown, by the careful examination of many flowers, that this power has not as yet been perfected; and, consequently, that a certain proportion of the pollen is rendered useless, namely, that from the anthers which do not rotate properly. It thus appears that the development of the plant has not as yet been completed; the stamens have indeed acquired their proper length, but not their full and perfect power of rotation. (3/25. Fritz Muller gives another instance of the want of absolute perfection in the flowers of another member of the Rubiaceae, namely, Posoqueria fragrans, which is adapted in a most wonderful manner for cross-fertilisation by the agency of moths. (See 'Botanische Zeitung' 1866 Number 17.) In accordance with the nocturnal habits of these insects, most of the flowers open only during the night; but some open in the day, and the pollen of such flowers is robbed, as Fritz Muller has often seen, by humble-bees and other insects, without any benefit being thus conferred on the plant.)

The several points of difference in structure between the two forms of Faramea are highly remarkable. Until within a recent period, if any one had been shown two plants which differed in a uniform manner in the length of their stamens and pistils,--in the form of their stigmas,--in the manner of dehiscence and slightly in the size of their anthers,--and to an extraordinary degree in the diameter and structure of their pollen-grains, he would have declared it impossible that the two could have belonged to one and the same species.

[Suteria (species unnamed in the herbarium at Kew.) (Rubiaceae).

I owe to the kindness of Fritz Muller dried flowers of this plant from St. Catharina, in Brazil. In the long-styled form the stigma stands in the mouth of the corolla, above the anthers, which latter are enclosed within the tube, but only a short way down. In the short-styled form the anthers are placed in the mouth of the corolla above the stigma, which occupies the same position as the anthers in the other form, being seated only a short way down the tube. Therefore the pistil of the long-styled form does not exceed in length that of the short-styled in nearly so great a degree as in many other Rubiaceae. Nevertheless there is a considerable difference in the size of the pollen-grains in the two forms; for, as Fritz Muller informs me, those of the short-styled are to those of the long-styled as 100 to 75 in diameter.

Houstonia coerulea (Rubiaceae).

Professor Asa Gray has been so kind as to send me an abstract of some observations made by Dr. Rothrock on this plant. The pistil is exserted in the one form and the stamens in the other, as has long been observed. The stigmas of the long-styled form are shorter, stouter, and far more hispid than in the other form. The stigmatic hairs or papillae on the former are .04 millimetres, and on the latter only .023 millimetres in length.

The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species Page 58

19th Century English Literature

Charles Darwin

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