Page:An introduction to physiological and systematical botany (1st edition).djvu/353
STAMENS AND PISTILS.
Both the conjectures just mentioned vanish before one luminous experiment of Linnæus, of all others the most easy to repeat and to understand. He removed the anthers from a flower of Glaucium phœnicium; Engl. Bot. t. 1433, stripping off the rest of that day's blossoms. Another morning he repeated the same practice, only sprinkling the stigma of that blossom, which he had last deprived of its own stamen's, with the pollen from another. The flower first mutilated produced no fruit, but the second afforded very perfect seed. "My design," says Linnæus, "was to prevent any one in future from believing that the removal of the anthers from a flower was in itself capable of rendering the germen abortive."
The usual proportion and situation of stamens with respect to pistils is well worthy of notice. The former are generally shortest in drooping flowers, longest in erect ones. The barren blossoms stand above the fertile ones in Carex, Coix, Ricinus, Arum, &c., that the pollen may fall on the stigmas. This is the more remarkable, as the usual order of Nature seems in such plants, as well indeed