The self-fertilisation of both forms was probably aided by Thrips, which abounded within the flowers; but these minute insects could not have placed nearly sufficient pollen on the stigmas, as the spontaneously self-fertilised capsules contained much fewer seeds, on an average, than those (as may be seen in Table 1.9.) which were artificially fertilised with their own-form pollen. But this difference may perhaps be attributed in part to the flowers in the table having been fertilised with pollen from a distinct plant belonging to the same form; whilst those which were spontaneously self-fertilised no doubt generally received their own pollen. In a future part of this volume some observations will be given on the fertility of a red-coloured variety of the primrose.

Primula Sinensis.

In the long-styled form the pistil is about twice as long as that of the short- styled, and the stamens differ in a corresponding, but reversed, manner. The stigma is considerably more elongated and rougher than that of the short-styled, which is smooth and almost spherical, being somewhat depressed on the summit; but the stigma varies much in all its characters, the result, probably, of cultivation. The pollen-grains of the short-styled form, according to Hildebrand, are 7 divisions of the micrometer in length and 5 in breadth; whereas those of the long-styled are only 4 in length and 3 in breadth. (1/10. After the appearance of my paper this author published some excellent observations on the present species 'Botanische Zeitung' January 1, 1864, and he shows that I erred greatly about the size of the pollen-grains in the two forms. I suppose that by mistake I measured twice over pollen-grains from the same form.) The grains, therefore, of the short-styled are to those of the long- styled in length as 100 to 57. Hildebrand also remarked, as I had done in the case of P. veris, that the smaller grains from the long-styled are much more transparent than the larger ones from the short-styled form. We shall hereafter see that this cultivated plant varies much in its dimorphic condition and is often equal-styled. Some individuals may be said to be sub-heterostyled; thus in two white-flowered plants the pistil projected above the stamens, but in one of them it was longer and had a more elongated and rougher stigma, than in the other; and the pollen-grains from the latter were to those from the plant with a more elongated pistil only as 100 to 88 in diameter, instead of as 100 to 57. The corolla of the long-styled and short-styled form differs in shape, in the same manner as in P. veris. The long-styled plants tend to flower before the short-styled. When both forms were legitimately fertilised, the capsules from the short-styled plants contained, on an average, more seeds than those from the long-styled, in the ratio of 12.2 to 9.3 by weight, that is, as 100 to 78. In Table 1.10 we have the results of two sets of experiments tried at different periods.

TABLE 1.10. Primula Sinensis.

Column 1: Nature of the Union. Column 2: Number of Flowers fertilised. Column 3: Number of good Capsules produced. Column 4: Average Weight of Seeds per Capsule. ... Column 5: Average Number of Seeds per Capsule as ascertained on a subsequent occasion.

Long-styled by pollen of short-styled. Legitimate union : 24 : 16 : 0.58 :: 50.

Long-styled by own-form pollen. Illegitimate union : 20 : 13 : 0.45 :: 35.

Short-styled by pollen of long-styled. Legitimate union: 8 : 8 : 0.76 :: 64.

Short-styled by own-form pollen. Illegitimate union : 7 : 4 : 0.23 :: 25.


The two legitimate unions together : 32 : 24 : 0.64 :: 57.

The two illegitimate unions together : 27 : 17 : 0.40 :: 30.

The fertility, therefore, of the two legitimate unions together to that of the two illegitimate unions, as judged by the proportional number of flowers which yielded capsules, is as 100 to 84. Judging by the average weight of seeds per capsule produced by the two kinds of unions, the ratio is as 100 to 63. On another occasion a large number of flowers of both forms were fertilised in the same manner, but no account of their number was kept.

Charles Darwin

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