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Related to anemophily: Ornithophily, entomophily


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.

Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
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References in periodicals archive ?
Optimum pollen and female receptor size for anemophily. The American Journal of Botany 76: 445-453.
Anemophily is often associated with dioecy in many plant groups (Sporne, 1965).
Wind is considered a significant pollination agent for remote island floras (Carlquist, 1966; Whitehead, 1969, 1983; Regal, 1982; Barrett, 1998), with anemophily characterizing significant percentages of species in island floras (Thornton, 1971; Carlquist, 1974; Ehrendorfer, 1979).
For a portion of the flora, anemophily is not a surprise, given the condition among presumed ancestors.
Anemophily is the "poor relation" of pollination biology; more is known about insect pollination of old-field and alpine-meadow herbs than about wind pollination of the trees, shrubs, and graminoids that dominate vegetation in most of the temperate and boreal regions.