Cleistogamy: Features, Advantages and FAQs

Cleistogamy is a phenomenon where plants show self-pollination. The word cleistogamy means ‘closed marriage’. The flowers which show cleistogamy are known as cleistogamous flowers. It is well known in the grass family, such as peas, peanuts and pansy. Viola, however, shows both cleistogamy and chasmogamy.

Features of Cleistogamous Flowers

  • The flowers are closed
  • The petals are non-showy
  • The reproductive organs remain enclosed in the flower

Advantages of Cleistogamy

  • They do not need to spend energy and resources to bear showy flowers
  • They are not dependent on pollinators for pollination
  • They can produce seeds in adverse and unfavourable conditions

Disadvantages of Cleistogamy

  • The only obvious disadvantage of cleistogamy is that they cannot produce genetically diverse seeds because they show self-pollination

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Frequently Asked Questions


What are cleistogamous flowers? Write their significance.

Cleistogamous flowers are the ones that do not open and show self-pollination. The advantage of a cleistogamous flower is that they are not dependent on pollinators, hence producing seeds in all conditions.


Do you think that cleistogamy has advantages or disadvantages for the plant? Why?

Cleistogamy has both advantages and disadvantages, the advantage being the production of seeds even in adverse conditions and the disadvantage being lack of genetic diversity in the seeds produced.


What is meant by Herkogamy?

Herkogamy is a strategy applied by the plant to avoid self-pollination. In this technique, the plant produces anther and stigma in such a way that they have spatial differences between them.


What is the difference between Chasmogamy and Cleistogamy?

Chasmogamy is the process of cross-pollination in flowers that are showy and exposed to the environment, whereas cleistogamy is the self-pollination of closed flowers.


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