The mouth of this chamber is protected by a ring of hairs pointing downwards, which allow the entrance but prevent the escape of small flies; after fertilization of the pistils the hairs wither.
The system of Linnaeus was founded on characters derived from the stamens and pistils, the so-called sexual organs of the flower, and hence it is often called the sexual system.
Camerarius, professor of botany and medicine at Tubingen, published a letter on the sexes of plants, in which he refers to the stamens and pistils as the organs of reproduction, and states the difficulties he had encountered in determining the organs of Cryptogamic plants.
In the latter division of plants he could not detect stamens and pistils, and he did not investigate the mode in which their germs were produced.
- Pistils of Grasses (much enlarged).
Seigle ergote), consisting of the sclerotium (or hard resting condition) of a fungus, Claviceps purpurea, parasitic on the pistils of many members of the Grass family, but obtained almost exclusively from rye, Secale cereale.
In double flowers transformations of the stamens and pistils take place, so that they appear as petals.
It must suffice here to say that double flowers are most commonly the result of the substitution of brightly-coloured petals for stamens or pistils or both, and that a perfectly double flower where all the stamens and pistils are thus metamorphosed is necessarily barren.