Self Pollination

Last updated: November 22, 2021

What Does Self Pollination Mean?

Self-pollination refers to a flower that has the ability to pollinate itself and other flowers produced by the same plant. It does not need another plant's pollen for fertility.

Hermaphrodites and monoecious species, which make up the majority of plant species, have the potential to self-pollinate.

A self-pollinating flower has both the male and female reproductive parts. Pollen will accumulate on the plant’s male anthers and then transfer to the female stigma of the flower to complete the fertilization process.


Maximum Yield Explains Self Pollination

Normally, plants that can self-pollinate feature distinctive carpels and stamens that are almost all the same length. Plants with the ability of self-pollination have the upper hand over plants that require cross pollination.

Self-pollinating plants can be pollinated by insects such as moths or bees, but they can also rely solely on the wind, airflow, or natural growth of the single flower to ensure that pollination occurs.

Some self-pollinating flowers can even be pollinated before they bloom by depending on the bud's natural growth. As the flower's stigma grows through the anthers and the flower begins to unfurl, it effectively transfers pollen between the flower’s male and female parts.

It should be noted that there are two types of self-pollination: autogamy and geitonogamy. In autogamy, the pollen simply gets transferred to the stigma of the same flower. However, in geitonogamy, the pollen gets transferred from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower that is on the same flowering plant.

Somewhat opposite of self-pollination is cross-pollination, which occurs when one variety of plant pollinates another variety of plant, either intentionally by human intervention, or by natural causes.

In addition to these two types of plant pollination, there is also open-pollination, which refers to all pollination that occurs naturally without intervention from humans. Self-pollination is one way open-pollination occurs.


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