The observations of Darwin as to the fertilization of orchids, Primula, Linum and Lythrum, and other plants, and the part which insects take in this function, gave an explanation of the observations of Christian Konrad Sprengel, made at the close of the 18th century, and opened up a new phase in the study of botany, which has been followed by Hermann Miller, Federico Delphic) and others, and more recently by Paul Knuth.
- Diagram of the flowers of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria in their natural position, with the petals and calyx removed on the near side.
Such plants are called dimorphic. Other plants are timorphic, as species of Lythrum, and proper fertilization is only effected by combination of parts of equal length.
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