Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 195–205

Pollen-ovule patterns in tribeTrifolieae (Leguminosae)

  • Ernest Small

DOI: 10.1007/BF00936047

Cite this article as:
Small, E. Pl Syst Evol (1988) 160: 195. doi:10.1007/BF00936047


Relative pollen and ovule production in the genera of the legume tribeTrifolieae is explored particularly as to howMedicago with its explosive pollination mechanism compares with its allies.Medicago produces much larger, although much fewer pollen per ovule than the other five genera in the tribe; this is interpreted as a consequence of its highly specialized, irreversible pollination mechanism, which allows only one effective exchange of pollen with pollinators.Melilotus andTrifolium produce a comparatively large quantity of pollen; this can be related to their floral characteristics requiring abundant pollen to achieve fertilization. InMedicago andTrigonella, annuals convert a higher proportion of pollen grains and ovules into seeds than perennials.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Small
    • 1
  1. 1.Biosystematics Research CentreAgriculture CanadaOttawaCanada