Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 459 pages of information about Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom.

Heights of plants measured in inches.

Column 1:  Number (Name) of Pot.

Column 2:  Crossed Plants.

Column 3:  Self-fertilised Plants.

Pot 1 :  8 4/8 :  4 2/8. 
Pot 1 :  6 4/8 :  7 4/8.

Pot 2 :  10 4/8 :  14 4/8. 
Pot 2 :  18 :  18.

Pot 3 :  20 2/8 :  22 6/8.

Total :  63.75 :  67.00.

The five crossed plants average 12.75, and the five self-fertilised 13.4 inches in height; or as 100 to 105.



Petunia violacea, crossed and self-fertilised plants compared for four generations.  Effects of a cross with a fresh stock.  Uniform colour of the flowers on the self-fertilised plants of the fourth generation.  Nicotiana tabacum, crossed and self-fertilised plants of equal height.  Great effects of a cross with a distinct sub-variety on the height, but not on the fertility, of the offspring.  Cyclamen persicum, crossed seedlings greatly superior to the self-fertilised.  Anagallis collina.  Primula veris.  Equal-styled variety of Primula veris, fertility of, greatly increased by a cross with a fresh stock.  Fagopyrum esculentum.  Beta vulgaris.  Canna warscewiczi, crossed and self-fertilised plants of equal height.  Zea mays.  Phalaris canariensis.

25.  Solanaceae.  Petunia violacea.

Dingy purple variety.

The flowers of this plant are so seldom visited during the day by insects in this country, that I have never seen an instance; but my gardener, on whom I can rely, once saw some humble-bees at work.  Mr. Meehan says, that in the United States bees bore through the corolla for the nectar, and adds that their “fertilisation is carried on by night-moths.” (6/1.  ’Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia’ August 2, 1870 page 90.)

In France M. Naudin, after castrating a large number of flowers whilst in bud, left them exposed to the visits of insects, and about a quarter produced capsules (6/2.  ‘Annales des Sc.  Nat.’ 4th series Bot.  Tome 9 cah. 5); but I am convinced that a much larger proportion of flowers in my garden are cross-fertilised by insects, for protected flowers with their own pollen placed on the stigma never yielded nearly a full complement of seed; whilst those left uncovered produced fine capsules, showing that pollen from other plants must have been brought to them, probably by moths.  Plants growing vigorously and flowering in pots in the greenhouse, never yielded a single capsule; and this may be attributed, at least in chief part, to the exclusion of moths.

Six flowers on a plant covered by a net were crossed with pollen from a distinct plant and produced six capsules, containing by weight 4.44 grains of seed.  Six other flowers were fertilised with their own pollen and produced only three capsules, containing only 1.49 grains weight of seed.  From this it follows that an equal number of crossed and self-fertilised capsules would have contained seeds by weight as 100 to 67.  I should not have thought the proportional contents of so few capsules worth giving, had not nearly the same result been confirmed by several subsequent trials.

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Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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