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The production of small closed flowers that are self-pollinating and contain numerous seeds.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In addition, small population sizes caused by high prereproductive mortality of individuals on the hillside combined with greater levels of cleistogamy would tend to reduce additive genetic variance in this site over time.
In addition to the possible reduction in additive genetic variance on the hillside, differential levels of cleistogamy between sites may have an additional effect on phenotypic evolution.
Plant density, cleistogamy and self-fertilization in natural populations of Lithospermum caroliniense.
described cleistogamy in genera such as Impatiens, Oxalis, and Viola as
the literature, the extent of cleistogamy within angiosperms is still
cleistogamy (Connor, 1979; Lord, 1981; Campbell et al., 1983) are well
documented cleistogamy in four genera of Malpighiaceae in 1908.
cleistogamy, the checklist included only 29 families.
The subject of apomixis and cleistogamy has recently experienced a
In species producing hermaphroditic flowers, the evolution of autogamous selfing is facilitated by the presence of anthers and stigma within the same flower, and highly efficient selfing mechanisms like cleistogamy may evolve.
Evolution of reproductive characteristics in Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae): the significance of cleistogamy and chasmogamy.
Such species are generally self-compatible and often have floral mechanisms (e.g., autogamy, cleistogamy) that assure high seed set (Baker 1965; Lloyd 1980).