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Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 133, Issue 1–2, pp 15–28 | Cite as

Pollination of the southwestern Opuntias

  • Verne Grant
  • Paul D. Hurd
Article

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of pollination systems inOpuntia sens. lat. in the southwestern United States. The floral syndrome of large, colorful, bowl-shaped, diurnal flowers is present in all of the prickly-pear species and most of the cholla (Cylindropuntia) species in this area. Pollination by medium-sized and large bees is established for some of the species with this floral syndrome and is predicted for the others. The same floral syndrome is widespread inOpuntia in other geographical areas.—Deviations from this floral syndrome occur in certain species of southwestern chollas, one of which has nocturnal disc-shaped flowers, and in several tropical American species groups or segregate genera with red hummingbird flowers. But such cases are relatively infrequent. Divergence between species with respect to floral syndrome and pollination system is not a common feature in the evolutionary pattern ofOpuntia.

Key words

Cactaceae Opuntia Flower pollination bee pollination flower beetles 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verne Grant
    • 1
  • Paul D. Hurd
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of TexasAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyNational Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA

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