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[mass noun] The condition (e.g. in primroses) of having styles of different lengths relative to the stamens in the flowers of different individual plants, to reduce self-fertilization.
- ‘Flowering plants have several mechanisms that have evolved to prevent self-fertilization, e.g. self-incompatibility systems, heterostyly and dichogamy.’
- ‘Darwin's correlation between the phenotype and the cross-compatibility of the two forms of flower provided the foundation for subsequent analyses of heterostyly in Primula.’
- ‘One of the earliest hypothesized and widely known cases of a coadapted gene complex in plants is that of heterostyly.’
- ‘Although gender specialization is not a regular feature of heterostyly, reproductive differences between morphs has been reported for most studied distylous species.’
- ‘Tylosema, in the tribe Cercideae, has been little investigated but heterostyly, unknown elsewhere in the Fabaceae, has been reported in all four species of the genus.’
Late 19th century: from hetero- ‘different’ + Greek stulos column + -y.
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