The Reproductive Characteristics of a Petunia | Home Guides

March 13, 2014 – 11:27 pm

Petunia cultivars have been bred since the mid-1800s.

Petunia (Petunia spp) flowers come in an array of colors from purple to yellow and even striped. This is the result of Petunia’s reproductive characteristic to hybridize easily whether induced by man, or unintentionally by insects. Many of today’s Petunia cultivars have been bred from parent species such as Petunia axillaris and Petunia inflata, and some of the resulting hybrids have been cultivated further for their characteristics. Floribunda is one group of Petunia that is the result of cross-pollination between two hybrids.

Sexually Reproduces

Petunia reproduces itself through sexual reproduction. This process involves moving pollen from the reproductive part of a male flower, called an anther, to the reproductive part of a female flower, called a stigma. Insects, such as bees or butterflies, transport the pollen from the male flower to the female. The fertilized female flower eventually looses its petals, and a seedhead is formed. These seeds are the offspring of the reproductive process.

Avoids Inbreeding

Some species of plants have male flowers on a single plant and female flowers on another plant, while others like the petunia, known as perfect flowers, have flowers with both male and female parts. Some perfect flowers self-pollinate; others including petunia do not. This refusal to self-pollinate can protect these plants from the consequences of inbreeding, such as vulnerability to disease. The petunia has a built in mechanism that can tell the difference between pollen made by itself and pollen from another petunia. While the petunia destroys self-generated pollen, it embraces the pollen from another petunia The pistil part of the stigma forms a pollen tube that carries the pollen to the ovary of the flower resulting in fertilization.

Hybridizes Easily

Petunia cultivars have been bred since the mid-1800s.


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I'd include sweet alyssum with the petunias

I have white sweet alyssum planted with white petunias at the top of my retaining wall, and it's a pretty combination: tiny, snow-flake alyssum flowers with larger, delicate petunias. It would look very nice in the pots next to your mailbox: two alyssum plants and two petunia plants in each pot. I got the idea from an upscale nursery here in Seattle. They had that combination in a gigantic pot, and it looked just beautiful. I don't know if this matters to you as a beginner, but sweet alyssum attracts many beneficial insects to your garden, and that reduces problems with pests.
I've always found the light blue petunias with the dark blue veins to be very pretty

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