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heterostyly Line breaks: het¦ero|styly
Pronunciation: /ˈhɛtərə(ʊ)ˌstʌɪli/

Definition of heterostyly in English:


[mass noun] Botany
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.
Example sentences
  • Flowering plants have several mechanisms that have evolved to prevent self-fertilization, e.g. self-incompatibility systems, heterostyly and dichogamy.
  • Although gender specialization is not a regular feature of heterostyly, reproductive differences between morphs has been reported for most studied distylous species.
  • 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.


Example sentences
  • Field observations confirmed that the species is heterostylous with the pistil and anthers exhibiting reciprocal heights in the two morphs, although pollen size and sculpturing do not vary.
  • Pentanisia appears to exhibit dimorphisms typically associated with heterostylous plants.
  • Both F. jinshaense and F. gilesii are self-incompatible with heterostylous flowers and are diploid.


Late 19th century: from hetero- 'different' + Greek stulos 'column' + -y3.

Definition of heterostyly in:
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