Professor Gray informs me that in another species, G. coronopifolia, belonging to the same section of the genus, he can see no sign of dimorphism.

Gilia (Leptosiphon) micrantha.

A few flowers sent me from Kew had been somewhat injured, so that I cannot say anything positively with respect to the position and relative length of the organs in the two forms. But their stigmas differed almost exactly in the same manner as in the last species; the papillae on the long-styled stigma being longer than those on the short-styled, in the ratio of 100 to 42. My son measured nine pollen-grains from the long-styled, and the same number from the short-styled form; and the mean diameter of the former was to that of the latter as 100 to 81. Considering this difference, as well as that between the stigmas of the two forms, there can be no doubt that this species is heterostyled. So probably is Gilia nudicaulis, which likewise belongs to the Leptosiphon section of the genus, for I hear from Professor Asa Gray that in some individuals the style is very long, with the stigma more or less exserted, whilst in others it is deeply included within the tube; the anthers being always seated in the throat of the corolla.

Phlox subulata (Polemoniaceae).

Professor Asa Gray informs me that the greater number of the species in this genus have a long pistil, with the stigma more or less exserted; whilst several other species, especially the annuals, have a short pistil seated low down within the tube of the corolla. In all the species the anthers are arranged one below the other, the uppermost just protruding from the throat of the corolla. In Phlox subulata alone he has "seen both long and short styles; and here the short-styled plant has (irrespective of this character) been described as a distinct species (P. nivalis, P. Hentzii), and is apt to have a pair of ovules in each cell, while the long-styled P. subulata rarely shows more than one." (3/18. 'Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' June 14, 1870 page 248.) Some dried flowers of both forms were sent me by him, and I received others from Kew, but I have failed to make out whether the species is heterostyled. In two flowers of nearly equal size, the pistil of the long-styled form was twice as long as that of the short-styled; but in other cases the difference was not nearly so great. The stigma of the long-styled pistil stands nearly in the throat of the corolla; whilst in the short-styled it is placed low down--sometimes very low down in the tube, for it varies greatly in position. The stigma is more papillose, and of greater length (in one instance in the ratio of 100 to 67), in the short-styled flowers than in the long-styled. My son measured twenty pollen-grains from a short-styled flower, and nine from a long- styled, and the former were in diameter to the latter as 100 to 93; and this difference accords with the belief that the plant is heterostyled. But the grains from the short-styled varied much in diameter. He afterwards measured ten grains from a distinct long-styled flower, and ten from another plant of the same form, and these grains differed in diameter in the ratio of 100 to 90. The mean diameter of these two lots of twenty grains was to that of twelve grains from another short-styled flower as 100 to 75: here, then, the grains from the short-styled form were considerably smaller than those from the long-styled, which is the reverse of what occurred in the former instance, and of what is the general rule with heterostyled plants. The whole case is perplexing in the highest degree, and will not be understood until experiments are tried on living plants. The greater length, and more papillose condition of the stigma in the short-styled than in the long-styled flowers, looks as if the plant was heterostyled; for we know that with some species--for instance, Leucosmia and certain Rubiaceae--the stigma is longer and more papillose in the short-styled form, though the reverse of this holds good in Gilia, a member of the same family with Phlox.

Charles Darwin

All Pages of This Book