The light-weight seeds of Cinchona pubescens are distributed by the wind or also by animals.  The seeds have been discovered to be able to distribute themselves to expand the species up to about 95 meters per year!  The tree grows on an average of 1-2 meters per year and produces seeds when it is four years old.  It is also able to produce suckers from the root area, and re-sprouts in areas of the root that are damaged.  The speedy growth of the tree enables it to take over the local vegetation.  This rapid takeover of vegetation usually occurs in areas that have no trees growing.  Shrub and herb plants are the species of vegetation that suffer the most because of the inability to grow underneath the tree’s very dense canopy.

The angiosperm life cycle alternates between a dominant diploid sporophyte generation and a haploid gametophyte generation.  The male parts of the flower consist of the stamen, filament, and anther.  The stamen is made up of the filament (stalk) and the anther (tip of stalk).  The carpel, ovary, style, and stigma make up the female parts of the flower.  The carpel contains the ovary, style, and stigma.  The ovary is at the lower end and is where the seeds are produced.  The style is stalk-like and has a stigma at the tip of it.  The stigma is sticky and is the region where the pollen lands.

The anthers, which are composed of microsporangia, produce microspores via meiosis.  The microspores develop into male gametophytes or pollen.  The ovaries, on the other hand, are composed of megasporangia which produce megaspores by meiosis.  The megaspores develop into female gametophytes and eventually into eggs.  Since there are microspores and megaspores on the same plant, the sporophytes of angiosperms are considered to be heterosporous.  The gametophytes are therefore unisexual.  In the case of C. pubescens, the pollen is transferred to the stigma of the carpel by wind or animals.  This process is called pollination.  Uniting of the sperm nucleus and egg nucleus is referred to as fertilization.  Uniting the haploid egg and haploid sperm creates the zygote.  The zygote then develops into the embryo which is nourished by its endosperm.  The seed germinates and develops into a mature sporophyte.

Below is a diagram of the basic angiosperm life cycle.  For a more specific summary of the angiosperm life cycle, visit Angiosperms Reproduction and Life Cycle.

Now that you have a better grasp of C. pubescens itself, go to Medicinal Uses to learn more about how the tree is beneficial to US!

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