One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The ripening of the stamens and pistils of a flower at different times, so that self-fertilization is prevented.Compare with homogamy (sense 3)
- ‘Flowering plants have several mechanisms that have evolved to prevent self-fertilization, e.g. self-incompatibility systems, heterostyly and dichogamy.’
- ‘Although dichogamy is considered an important factor influencing gender expression, its roles in promoting the evolution of gender specialization are still poorly understood.’
- ‘This suggests that weak dichogamy occurs in this species unless stigma maturation is delayed by the retention of self-pollen.’
- ‘However, the form of dichogamy (protogyny and protandry) is likely to have different consequences for autogamy versus geitonogamy.’
- ‘However, if flowering is asynchronous and the behaviour of individual pollinators does not follow a regular pattern within a plant, dichogamy might have little effect on reducing geitonogamy.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek dikho- ‘apart, in two’ + gamos ‘marriage’.
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