Feb. 8, 2021

cowslip, Primula veris

OMG! Before we get to today's word, you have to know why this is cowslip. Apparently it's because it often grew in cow pastures, where one might slip if you didn't step carefully. Now, today's word is heterostyly. Cowslips and knotweed share the trait of having different length styles and filaments on different plants. This is part of a strategy to prevent self fertilization. In at least some heterostylous species, that is combined with genetic resistance to their own pollen. Plants with one arrangement have two of the same gene, while the others have one dominant and one recessive gene. This traditional garden bloom has escaped to our wilds in CT, MA, MD, ME, MI, NY, VT, NB, NS, ON, and QC. The large patch where I shot this one was particularly beautiful. Mackinac Co MI, 5/27/17. Primrose family, Primulaceae.