Asked in BiologyBotany or Plant Biology
What are the differences between a flower pollinated by wind and that pollinated by insects?
April 25, 2014 2:51PM
The answer is really pretty simple. Flowers that are pollinated by insects are pollinated by insects going from one flower to an other, carrying pollen from one flower to the next. Wind pollination is caused by the wind carrying pollen from one flower to an other one.
Usually insect pollinated flowers have large, brightly colored petals also sweet scented nectaries at the base of the petals - some flowers may look bland but when viewed under ultra violet or infrared light are very conspicuous.
The Stamen is short, with anthers firmly attached inside the flower. The Stigma is sticky and is located on the inside of the flower. Additionally the pollen grain are produced in small amounts, it is rough/ spiky and its large. This features are used to attract insects for pollination. The pollen grains are sticky and rough so it clings onto the insect's body. The Stigma is also sticky so the pollen grains remains in place and wont get carried away by the wind currents.
Many, but not all dicotyledonous flowers are insect pollinated.
Wind pollinated flowers are small and inconspicuous. Sometimes green or brown in color and has no scent or nectaries (such as the flowers of grass plants).
The Stamen has long filaments, with anthers that hang outside the flower. The Stigma is large, branched and feathery. The pollen grains are produced in large amounts, its smooth and light hence it can be carried away by the gentlest of wind currents.
Many, but not all monocotyledonous flowers and cone producing gymnosperms are wind pollinated.