Student.... But it is like Alice in Wonderland crossed with a botany text...
Me... Cool (thinking... what a great comparison!)
Student... Not it's not
Me... Do you want me to see if she (Sharman Apt Russell) has written other books for us to read? (she has but I have not read any others to this date)
Student... shakes head and walks away, laughing.
Yesterday I read chapter 5 and I am still thinking... cool. I chose Anatomy of A Rose because I wanted my biology students to read something a bit more interesting than a text book. I sat at the coffee shop reading about pollination and fertilization. The information is true, the writing is beautiful. She speaks of many pathways to reproduce and violets came up. Many flowers in the genus, Viola, go the way of being cleistogamous. Kleistos is Greek for "closed," and is a perfect prefix to describe the back up plan of many members of the genus. If the open flowers don't get pollinated the plants can reproduce by way of a flower that never opens. There is no need. Without opening it will self-pollinate and produce seeds.
As to whether the pansy we grew last year is an example, I do not know and have tired of trying to find out if these pansies behave this way. No matter, it is a favored photo from 2008 and so I share it with you. It points out a reason to be grateful. Most flowering plants go out of their way to not self-pollinate. Success requires them to open up for the world to see. And though we are not the intended audience, we get to see the amazing beauty.
as a final note... Legumes are well known for reproducing the same way.