Saturday, February 9, 2013
Botany picture #32: Prunella 'Summer Daze'
An obvious question arising from the interfertility of the various species is how they are able to maintain their identity and distinctness. A possible explanation can be found in this interesting study published in 2000. The authors examined neighboring populations of P. vulgaris and P. grandifolia and found that hybrids are maladapted to the two types of habitats inhabited by the two parental species; they can't grab either of the two available chairs and are left standing, so to say. That means that while they don't show any prezygotic isolation, the two species may be ecologically isolated through selection against hybrid plants.