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Related to anemophilous: entomophilous


the transfer of pollen from male to female plant organs by means of the wind. The process usually involves cross-pollination between different plants, rather than self-pollination (see POLLINATION). Wind pollination is very wasteful of male gemetes and is fairly rare in ANGIOSPERMS (most having evolved other, more efficient methods in partnership with insects), but common in GYMNOSPERMS such as pines.

Well-known angiosperm anemophilous plants include the grasses (a group containing cereals such as maize, wheat and barley), stinging nettles, docks and plantains.

Various features of anemophily can be recognized in angiosperms: flowers small and inconspicuous, often green with reduced petals; flowers with no nectar or perfume; stamens often long and pendulous (e.g. hazel catkins) or projecting up above the herbaceous plant (e.g. plantain, docks) to ensure efficient pollen dispersal; flowers frequently appear early in spring before leaves can interfere with pollination; stigmata are often branched and feathery to catch the airborne pollen. Compare ENTOMOPHILY.

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