Taking pollen from one plant vs taking it from another when crossbreeding?


Good Afternoon,
I have a quick question for you regarding cross-breeding pollination with perfect flowers. Specifically, if I use the pollen from one plant to fertilize another, would that provide a different result than if I fertilized the first plant with pollen from the other. To clarify, I’ll illustrate this with an example: If I take pollen from a red petunia and fertilize a blue petunia’s stigma with it, could that produce a slightly different offspring than if I took pollen from the blue petunia and fertilized the red petunia’s stigma? I wonder this because I know for humans sex and other traits are determined by the sperm, and the woman’s egg determines different factors other than sex (excuse my lack of human biology, but you get the idea). If this is the same with plants, then could the resulting offspring potentially be different depending on which flower’s pollen pollinated which flower’s stigma?

Very interested in your response.

Thank you,



A very interesting question Christian. The answer is yes. If Plant A is crossbred with Plant B, their offspring will have slight differences from the offspring of Plant B crossbred with Plant A. At first glance it may be difficult to discern any differences. Upon closer examination differences are detected.

Here is an example provided by a botanist acquaintance, who in fact, has the two different daphne offspring in her garden. A fellow in Oregon crossbred Daphne ‘Lawrence Crocker’ with Daphne arbuscula and came up with Daphne petraea. In England, Robin White crossbred Daphne ‘Lawrence Crocker’ with Daphne arbuscula the other way around. Mr. White came up with Daphne cheriton. Daphne cheriton and Daphne petraea look alike until you take a closer look and then you can see small differences.

The following links provide general information on general pattern of inheritance : https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/2000-mendel-s-principles-of-inheritance