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the self-pollination and self-fertilization of plants with usually small, plain, closed (cleistogamous) blossoms.
Cleistogamous flowers have little pollen. The pollen either falls onto the stigma in the closed blossom or, more rarely, germinates in the anthers, pierces their walls, and grows into the pistil. Cleistogamy is observed in plants of various families, including Arachis, many violets, impatiens, chickweed, toadflax, wood sorrel, and barley. Under favorable conditions cross-pollination is also sometimes observed in typically cleistogamous plants (for example, in some violets).