Examples of Common Stamen Configurations

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These images, taken as examples, illustrate just how much stamen numbers and configuration can vary.  Stamen numbers range from four in the case of G. byzantinus (the Iridaceae in general have small numbers) to over a thousand in the case of P. orientale, where they form a thick, dark collar around the base of the pistil, and are major feature of the flower.  In contrast, the stamens of G. candicans are shy and retiring. Hiding inside the pendulous bell-shaped perianth, they are completely out of view for the normal observer (this image was taken from under the plant with the camera pointing skywards).  

Trichocereus candicans has two separate populations of stamens: firstly, there is a ring of them around the entrance to the tube, and then a large tongue of stamens lying just outside the entrance.  Helleborus niger similarly has two stamen groups: an outer ring of long stamens and an inner body of shorter ones packed around the pistil.  This may represent a 'belt and braces' approach to catch both the insect and the wind.  Anemone blanda shows the characteristics of a mainly wind pollinated flower: a well spread out ring of about 60 stamens and lots of pollen (there is a dusting of pollen visible on the petals).

While this range of stamen configurations is by no means comprehensive, it nevertheless encompasses a broad range of the stamen configurations to be found in common garden plants.

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