Letter | Published:

Cross-fertilisation of Sweet-peas

Nature volume 82, page 280 (06 January 1910) | Download Citation



I HAVE recently seen two further reiterations of the statement that the sweet-pea is invariably self-fertilised, a statement which I think is often based on an opinion of Charles Darwin's. It may therefore be worth while placing on record an observation made by me in 1907, when examining daily and closely a large quantity of sweet-peas. While Apis mellifica failed entirely to open the flower, it was done perpetually by Megachile willughbiella, and there was not the least doubt about the cross-fertilisation being effectively brought about by this bee. The point has probably been noted before, but it is worth recording once more in view of the repetition of statements as to the self-fertilisation of sweet-peas.

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