Wind Pollinated Plants vs. Insect Pollinated Plants

Pollination is the transfer of pollens from male anther of the flower to the female reproductive part called stigma. Pollination is essential to the seed crops and production a fruit. Pollination can occur through wind or through insects. Wind pollinated plants are totally different from insect pollinated plants for example: wind pollinated plants are dull colored and without fragrance while insect pollinated plants are bright colored, have large petals with fragrance. Wind pollinated plants do no produce nectar while insect pollinated plants produce nectar which help them to attract insects.

What are Wind Pollinated Plants?

Wind pollinated plants have dull color and have less showy petals (inconspicuous flowers) because they do not need to attract insects. Also wind pollinated plants have anthers which is a male reproduction organ of the plant that protrudes out the flower, anthers of these plants are long and flexible that can easily allow them to sway in air. Furthermore the pollens are loosely attached so that they can shaken off easily in the wind. Because of it the wind carry most of the pollens whens blows by the anthers of these plants which aids in pollination. The stigma which is the female reproductive part of the plant also protrudes outward and having a large surface area due to which stigma can captures more pollen grains effectively that are carried by wind. The pollens of the wind pollinated plants are very light in weight so that the easily carried by wind. Also pollens are in large numbers but only few of them are carried by wind to stigma. The wind pollinated plants do not produce nectar. Wind pollinated plants have no fragrance. Most of the gymnosperms are wind pollinated plants few examples are: grass, rushes and sedges.

What are Insect Pollinated Plants?

Insect pollinated plants are bright in color and have large colorful petals which allows them to attract insects which then help them to pollinate. Insect pollinated plants have anthers that are firmly held in a place by the filament inside the flower. This ensures that when the insects fly into the flower they do not remove or break the entire filament. The stigma of the insect pollinated plants is small, sticky and rigid. This ensures that when pollens are scraped into the stigma, they cannot be easily taken off and further, the friction produced by the insect’s activity will not be able to remove pollens from the stigma of the flower. The pollens of the insect pollinated plants are heavy and sticky due to which they can cling easily to the insect’s body. Also the pollens are in small quantity because there is high chance that the insect will enter another flower which results in the higher availability of pollens into the stigma. This results in less production of pollens. Furthermore these plants produces nectar which also helps to attract insects. These plants have fragrance. Insects that helps in pollination are bees, butterflies, moth, and beetles. And the examples of insect pollinated plants are: sweat pea, daisy and orchids.

Key Differences between Wind Pollinated Plants and Insect Pollinated Plants

  1. Wind pollinated plants are dull, small and have less showy petals while insect pollinated plants are bright in color and have large colorful petals.
  2. Wind pollinated plants produce large amount of pollens while pollens produced by insect pollinated plants are in small quantity.
  3. Wind pollinated plants use wind for transferring of pollens while insect pollinated plants use insect for transferring the pollens.
  4. Wind pollinated plants are scentless while insect pollinated plants have fragrance.
  5. Pollens of wind pollinated plants are light in weight and non-sticky while pollens of insect pollinated plants are small and sticky.

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