The Effects of Cross and Self-Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom, p. 298 (1889)

Charles Darwin

*It is, however, possible that the stamens which differ in length or construction in the same flower may produce pollen differing in nature, and in this manner a cross might be made effective between the several flowers on the same plant. Mr. Macnab states (in a communication to M. Verlot, 'La Production des Variétés,' 1865, p. 42) that seedlings raised from the shorter and longer stamens of rhododendron differ in character; but the shorter stamens apparently are becoming rudimentary, and the seedlings are dwarfs, so that the result may be simply due to a want of fertilising power in the pollen, as in the case of the dwarfed plants of Mirabilis raised by Naudin by the use of too few pollen-grains. Analogous statements have been made with respect to the stamens of Pelargonium. With some of the Melastomaceae, seedlings raised by me from flowers fertilised by pollen from the shorter stamens, certainly differed in appearance from those raised from the longer stamens, with differently coloured anthers; but here, again, there is some reason for believing that the shorter stamens are tending towards abortion. In the very different case of trimorphic heterostyled plants, the two sets of stamens in the same flower have widely different fertilising powers,