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.

Weight of seed

The London-crossed to the self-fertilised as 100 to 33.

The London-crossed to the intercrossed as 100 to 45.

The intercrossed to the self-fertilised as 100 to 73.

We thus see how greatly the offspring from the self-fertilised plants of the third generation crossed by a fresh stock, had their fertility increased, whether tested by the number of capsules produced or by the weight of the contained seeds; this latter being the more trustworthy method.  Even the offspring from the self-fertilised plants crossed by one of the crossed plants of the same stock, notwithstanding that both lots had been long subjected to the same conditions, had their fertility considerably increased, as tested by the same two methods.

In conclusion it may be well to repeat in reference to the fertility of these three lots of plants, that their flowers were left freely exposed to the visits of insects and were undoubtedly crossed by them, as may be inferred from the large number of good capsules produced.  These plants were all the offspring of the same mother-plants, and the strongly marked difference in their fertility must be attributed to the nature of the pollen employed in fertilising their parents; and the difference in the nature of the pollen must be attributed to the different treatment to which the pollen-bearing parents had been subjected during several previous generations.

Colour of the flowers.

The flowers produced by the self-fertilised plants of the last or fourth generation were as uniform in tint as those of a wild species, being of a pale pink or rose colour.  Analogous cases with Mimulus and Ipomoea, after several generations of self-fertilisation, have been already given.  The flowers of the intercrossed plants of the fourth generation were likewise nearly uniform in colour.  On the other hand, the flowers of the London-crossed plants, or those raised from a cross with the fresh stock which bore dark crimson flowers, varied extremely in colour, as might have been expected, and as is the general rule with seedling carnations.  It deserves notice that only two or three of the London-crossed plants produced dark crimson flowers like those of their fathers, and only a very few of a pale pink like those of their mothers.  The great majority had their petals longitudinally and variously striped with the two colours,—­the groundwork tint being, however, in some cases darker than that of the mother-plants.

12.  Malvaceae.—­Hibiscus africanus.

Many flowers on this Hibiscus were crossed with pollen from a distinct plant, and many others were self-fertilised.  A rather larger proportional number of the crossed than of the self-fertilised flowers yielded capsules, and the crossed capsules contained rather more seeds.  The self-fertilised seeds were a little heavier than an equal number of the crossed seeds, but they germinated badly, and I raised only four plants of each lot.  In three out of the four pots, the crossed plants flowered first.

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