, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 104–110 | Cite as

The pollination biology and breeding system of Monarda fistulosa (Labiatae)

  • Robert William Cruden
  • Luise Hermanutz
  • Jane Shuttleworth
Original Papers


Successful cross-pollination of Monarda fistulosa is the result of a complex interaction among flower opening, the pollen-bearing areas of the pollinators and/or their behavior, and the maturation of the stigmas. The flowers open continuously from 0800–2000 h providing a temporally predictable rich source of nectar and pollen. Recently opened flowers may reduce the ability of bees to discriminate between resource rich and poor patches and encourage systematic foraging within patches. The continuous opening of flowers coupled with protandry also results in some flowers of most capitula being in the staminate and others in the pistillate phase. Autogamy is highly unlikely due to strong protandry and the spatial separation of anthers and stigmas. Geitonogamy, at least that mediated by Bombus is unlikely because the pollen is spread over a relatively large area of the wings, which reduces the likelihood of a stigma contacting just deposited pollen. Because pollen is transferred from the much smaller coxal area of Anthophora and other bees that mistake the stigmas of early pistillate phase flowers for stamens some geitonogamy seems inevitable. However, the delayed receptivity of young stigmas to self-pollen decreases the likelihood of self-pollen germinating on such stigmas. Older stigmas are equally receptive to self- and cross-pollen and the number of pollen grains germinating and pollen tubes reaching the base of the style increases with flower age.


Germinate Pollen Tube Complex Interaction Rich Source Phase Flower 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert William Cruden
    • 1
  • Luise Hermanutz
    • 1
  • Jane Shuttleworth
    • 1
  1. 1.Iowa Lakeside LaboratoryMilfordUSA

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