Difference Between Insect Pollinated And Wind Pollinated Flowers

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Insect Pollinated Flowers and Wind Pollinated Flowers

Before discussing insect-pollinated and wind-pollinated flowers, it is necessary to know what pollination is. Students without any knowledge on pollination are incapable of understanding the differences between insect-pollinated and wind-pollinated flowers. So, pollination is considered as a natural process where pollen grains are transferred from anther ( the male reproductive part) to the stigma (the female reproductive part) of a flower. The process can get carried out within the flowers or between flowers of the same plant or flowers of different plants.


Pollination is considered as the sexual method of reproducing in all plants that are in existence. This process permits the fertilization process in every plant. In this pollination process, the genetic information of spermatophytes or the seed plants gets transferred to its next-generation just like other living organisms. 

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Types of Pollination

Pollination is classified into two different types based on the transfer of pollen grains:-


Self Pollination:

The initial type of pollination is termed as self-pollination. This type of pollination occurs when pollen grains get transferred from the anther to the stigma in the same flower. Some of the best examples of self-pollinated flowers are Sunflower and Orchids.


Cross-pollination:

The complex type of pollination is termed as cross-pollination. This type of pollination occurs when pollen grains get transferred from the anther of a flower to the stigma of another flower.  Some of the best examples of cross-pollinated flowers are Tulips, Dandelions and Daffodils.


Insect Pollinated Flowers

Insect pollinated flowers are those flowers which rely on insects ( e.g. bees, butterflies), birds (e.g. sunbird, hummingbird) and animals (e.g. bats) to transfer the pollen grains from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower. Some insect-pollinated flower examples are Sunflowers, Orchids and Buddleja.


Characteristics of Insect Pollinated Flowers

  • These flowers are large with brightly coloured petals to attract insects.

  • These flowers have a sweet smell and a good fragrance due to the presence of nectar.

  • Stigmas in these flowers are small and compact.

  • Stamens are located in the interiors of the flower, and they are not pendulous. This helps the pollens to get stuck with the agent as they brush against the anthers.

Wind Pollinated Flowers

Wind pollinated flowers are those flowers which transfer pollen grains from the anther to the sigma by using wind as an agent. This type of pollination occurs when the flower becomes mature, and the pollen grains get blown away by the wind. In this case, many pollen grains get wasted as they fall in all sorts of places. Those pollen grains which fall in the stigma of other flowers cause pollination. Some wind-pollinated flowers examples are the common catkins, dioecious pussy willow and dandelion flowers.


Characteristics of Wind Pollinated Flowers

  • These types of flowers are small and not so bright, and they seem dull. They don’t have any fragrance also.

  • They have long anthers which are protruding out of the flower to help pollen grains to blow off easily.

  • These flowers can produce a large quantity of pollen. 

  • The pollen grains in these flowers are light which makes it easy to carry them.


Difference Between Insect Pollinated Flowers and Wind Pollinated Flowers

Basis

Wind Pollinated Flowers

Insect Pollinated Flowers

Pollinating Agent

The wind is the pollinating agent.

Insects are the pollinating agents.

Morphological Features of a Flower

Wind pollinated flowers have light coloured petals and do not have a pleasant smell. 

Insect pollinated flowers have bright coloured petals, and they have a pleasant smell.

Pollen Grains

The pollen grains are lighter in weight so that they can be carried out easily.

The pollen grains are larger and are sticky so that the insects can carry it with ease.

Stigma

These flowers have a feathery stigma with petals hanging out.

These flowers have a small stigma and are found inside the petals.

Stamens

These flowers have long stamens that are visible out of petals.

These flowers have small stamens that are hidden inside the petals.

Anther

The anthers in these flowers are seen getting support from outside the flower.

Anthers in these flowers are found deep inside the flower.

Filaments

The filaments are slender and long.

The filaments are strong and short.

Production of Nectar

Nectar is not produced in these flowers.

Nectar is produced in these flowers.

Wastages

There is a lot of wastage of pollen grains in these flowers as more number of pollen grains are produced.

There is no wastage of pollen grains in these flowers as less number of pollen grains are produced.

Type of flowers

These are unisexual flowers.

These are bisexual flowers.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How are Wind-pollinated Plants Adapted?

Answer: Wind pollinated plants are adapted in a way so that they can allow the wind to transfer their pollen grains from anther to stigma. These types of plants are not brightly coloured and are very dull because these features of plants are useless in case of wind pollination. Wind pollinated plants do not have a good smell also as they don't have to attract the insects for transferring their pollen. In these plants, a lot of pollen gets wasted because a large number of pollens are produced in these plants. Some names of wind-pollinated plants are dioecious pussy willow and dandelion flowers.

2. What's the Importance of Knowing the Difference Between Pollinated Plants?

Answer: Students who are interested in pursuing their career in this biological field must have basic knowledge of what pollination is. The above article gives a detailed overview of what pollution is and what are its types. Students most importantly should learn the difference between insect-pollinated plants and wind-pollinated plants so that they can understand how the pollen grains are transferred in each case. The student will also learn about the characteristics of these plants that will help him/her in advance chapters that are still to come. This study of difference is necessary to secure good marks.