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That "drop of fluid" on the stigma

Fertility and the best time to apply the pollen to the stigma seems to be a
frequent and recurring topic of discussion.  I just today saw this in a book
borrowed from a friend and thought it might be of interest to other robins:
"The pistil, however, is just beginning its share of the drama.  When pollen
grains reach its stigma, they are caught and held in a sticky liquid.
Stimulated by the sugary fluid, a tube breaks through the wall of each grain
and pushes its way down through the style and into the ovary.  Some of these
tubes find ovules and enter them.  Then the contents of the pollen grains flow
down into the tubes, leaving the empty shells on the  stigma."
From Flower to Fruit  written by Anne Ophelia Dowden

This does seem to answer the question about the best time to apply the pollen.

Bev Stegeman
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