Diversity of Floral Glands and Their Secretions in Pollinator Attraction

  • Elisabeth Dantas TölkeEmail author
  • Natalie do Valle Capelli
  • Tamara Pastori
  • Ana Cláudia Alencar
  • Theodor C. H. Cole
  • Diego Demarco
Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Floral glands that produce substances related to the attraction and reward of pollinators are crucial for the reproductive success of angiosperms. These structures may include nectaries, osmophores, elaiophores, and resin glands and are quite diverse in flowering plants. This chapter presents the diversity of morphologies and substances produced by the floral glands and how they improve the pollinator’s attraction. We also describe how some angiosperms and floral visitors may have coevolved leading to specific pollination systems in some groups of plants. The integration of morphological, chemical, and ecological studies allows for a better understanding of the relationships that evolved between flowers and pollinators along their evolutionary histories. These comprehensive approaches provide opportunities to dissect the evolution of secondary metabolites produced by specialized secretory structures in flowers, including the origin and subsequent modification of these glands and their produced compounds.


Elaiophores Flowering plants Nectaries Osmophores Pollination Resin glands Secretory structures 

List of Abbreviations


Crabs claw


Endoplasmic reticulum


Transversal section



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brasil (CAPES), Finance Code 001. ACA is grateful to FAPESP for funding research assistance under process No. 2012/51781-0. We thank K. B. Gagliardi, N. Streher, R. Jahn, D. L. Borges, and L. Eggers for contributing photos.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Dantas Tölke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natalie do Valle Capelli
    • 2
  • Tamara Pastori
    • 3
  • Ana Cláudia Alencar
    • 1
  • Theodor C. H. Cole
    • 4
  • Diego Demarco
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology, Institute of BiologyUniversity of Campinas – UNICAMPCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Institute of BiosciencesUniversity of São Paulo – USPSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Botany, Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of Rio Grande – FURGRio GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Institute of Biology, Structural and Functional Plant Diversity GroupFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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