Journal of Heredity 9(4): 192 (1918)
Nature as a Nature-Faker
E. P. Humbert
Agricultural Experiment Station,
College Station, Texas.
In producing the freak illustrated herewith nature assumed the same rôle as the student of entomology who sought to fool his professor by making up an insect from the parts of several unrelated insects. The specimen was a chance find by a man in northeast Texas. He was honest in his belief that the wheat head had produced two kernels of oats.
The specimen was perfect; the oat pedicels came from the base of the central kernel of one of the lower spikelets of the wheat head, the attachment being completely hidden by the stiff outer glumes crowded together at this point. On the left is shown the wheat head with the oat kernels attached and on the right the results of dissection with the aid of moisture. The oat pedicel was wrapped completely and tightly around the base of the central floret of the wheat spikelet. The opportunity for this queer behavior must have been afforded by the fact that an oat plant grew close to the wheat plant and while the pedicel was very young and sensitive the head of wheat and oats were brought together by some agency, presumably wind. The pedicel behaved as a tendril and upon nearing maturity pulled the oats from the parent oat plant. (Fig. 19.)