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Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Veg

Charles Darwin

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .between 5 and 6 inches in height, they were equal, and ultimately the three tallest crossed plants were 11, 10, and 8 inches, whilst the three tallest self-fertilised were 12, 8 1/2, and 7 1/2 inches in height. So that there was not much difference between them, the crossed plants having an average advantage of only the third of an inch. The plants were cut down, and without being disturbed were transplanted into a larger pot. Thus the two lots started fair on the following spring, and now the crossed plants showed their inherent superiority, for the two tallest were 13 inches, whilst the two tallest self-fertilised plants were only 11 and 8 1/2 inches in height; or as 100 to 75. The two lots were allowed to fertilise themselves spontaneously: the crossed plants produced a large number of capsules, whilst the self-fertilised produced very few and poor ones. The seeds from eight of the capsules on the crossed plants weighed .65 grain, whilst those from eight of the capsules on the self-. . . Read More