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The Winter Garden displays a diverse range of plants to dramatic visual and sensory effect.
The Winter Garden displays a diverse range of plants to dramatic visual and sensory effect.
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The study of Heterostyly in Primula

Philip Gilmartin
Wednesday 28 March 2018

Spring is Primrose season, the pale yellow flowers will be familiar to everyone, but their sexual secret may not. Primroses produce two types of flower known as ‘pin’ and ‘thrum’. Any one individual primrose plant produces only one of these two flower types. The thrum type, has a short style and high anthers; the other, the pin, has a long style and low anthers. This phenomenon is known as heterostyly. In 1862, Charles Darwin observed these two forms of flower and realised for the first time that the two forms of flower are adapted to promote cross-pollination, but these two distinct flower forms have been recognised since the late 16th century.

This half-day course led by Professsor Philip Gilmartin, from The University of East Anglia, will start with a talk on the historical observations that led to recognition of heterostyly as a mechanism to facilitate cross-pollination by insects. The talk will include an introduction for non-experts to relevant genetic and developmental biology information, and will draw on art and botanical drawings from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries to illustrate the two forms of flower. There will be a guided tour of the Garden to discover the various different species of Primula under cultivation, observe the variation in flower morphology of different species, and see pin and thrum flowers in ‘the wild’. You will then return to the classroom to dissect pin and thrum flowers for more detailed observations using hand lenses and discuss the science that underpins the observations that we have made.
Date
28/03/2018
Time
10am-1pm
Price
£35
Booking required
Booking Details
Book online using the link on the left of this page.
If the course is fully booked (shown as 'out of stock') and you would like to go on a waiting list, please contact the Education & Learning Office on 01223 331875.
Contact Details
01223 331875
Event Category
Plant Identification & Science
Venue
Classroom, 1 Brookside
Image ID 04190