Differently to what occurs in the other genera hitherto noticed, Polygonum, though a very large genus, contains, as far as is at present known, only a single heterostyled species, namely the present one. H. Muller in his interesting description of several other species shows that P. bistorta is so strongly proterandrous (the anthers generally falling off before the stigmas are mature) that the flowers must be cross-fertilised by the many insects which visit them. Other species bear much less conspicuous flowers which secrete little or no nectar, and consequently are rarely visited by insects; these are adapted for self-fertilisation, though still capable of cross-fertilisation. According to Delpino, the Polygonaceae are generally fertilised by the wind, instead of by insects as in the present genus.

[Leucosmia Burnettiana (Thymeliae).

As Professor Asa Gray has expressed his belief that this species and L. acuminata, as well as some species in the allied genus Drymispermum, are dimorphic or heterostyled (3/15. 'American Journal of Science' 1865 page 101 and Seemann's 'Journal of Botany' volume 3 1865 page 305.), I procured from Kew, through the kindness of Dr. Hooker, two dried flowers of the former species, an inhabitant of the Friendly Islands in the Pacific. The pistil of the long-styled form is to that of the short-styled as 100 to 86 in length; the stigma projects just above the throat of the corolla, and is surrounded by five anthers, the tips of which reach up almost to its base; and lower down, within the tubular corolla, five other and rather smaller anthers are seated. In the short-styled form, the stigma stands some way down the tube of the corolla, nearly on a level with the lower anthers of the other form: it differs remarkably from the stigma of the long-styled form, in being more papillose, and in being longer in the ratio of 100 to 60. The anthers of the upper stamens in the short-styled form are supported on free filaments, and project above the throat of the corolla, whilst the anthers of the lower stamens are seated in the throat on a level with the upper stamens of the other form. The diameters of a considerable number of grains from both sets of anthers in both forms were measured, but they did not differ in any trustworthy degree. The mean diameter of twenty-two grains from the short-styled flower was to that of twenty-four grains from the long-styled, as 100 to 99. The anthers of the upper stamens in the short-styled form appeared to be poorly developed, and contained a considerable number of shrivelled grains which were omitted in striking the above average. Notwithstanding the fact of the pollen-grains from the two forms not differing in diameter in any appreciable degree, there can hardly be a doubt from the great difference in the two forms in the length of the pistil, and especially of the stigma, together with its more papillose condition in the short-styled form, that the present species is truly heterostyled. This case resembles that of Linum grandiflorum, in which the sole difference between the two forms consists in the length of the pistils and stigmas. From the great length of the tubular corolla of Leucosmia, it is clear that the flowers are cross-fertilised by large Lepidoptera or by honey-sucking birds, and the position of the stamens in two whorls one beneath the other, which is a character that I have not seen in any other heterostyled dimorphic plant, probably serves to smear the inserted organ thoroughly with pollen.

Menyanthes trifoliata (Gentianeae).

This plant inhabits marshes: my son William gathered 247 flowers from so many distinct plants, and of these 110 were long-styled, and 137 short-styled. The pistil of the long-styled form is in length to that of the short-styled in the ratio of about 3 to 2. The stigma of the former, as my son observed, is decidedly larger than that of the short-styled; but in both forms it varies much in size. The stamens of the short-styled are almost double the length of those of the long-styled; so that their anthers stand rather above the level of the stigma of the long-styled form.

Charles Darwin

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