The Evolution of Heterostyly

  • D. G. Lloyd
  • C. J. Webb
Part of the Monographs on Theoretical and Applied Genetics book series (GENETICS, volume 15)


Charles Darwin was fascinated by the phenomenon of heterostyly. He described (1862, 1877) how he first thought that pin and thrum plants of Primula species represented female and male sexes respectively, but found that they were both functionally hermaphroditic. He demonstrated the infertility of self-pollinations and crosses between plants of the same form, and concluded that the two forms, although hermaphrodites, are “related to each other like males and females… [because plants of each form]… must unite with one of the other form” (Darwin 1862)3.


Floral Character Style Length Legitimate Pollination Floral Tube Stigmatic Papilla 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Lloyd
    • 1
  • C. J. Webb
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Microbial SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Botany DivisionDSIRChristchurchNew Zealand

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