Corolla wilting facilitates delayed autonomous self-pollination in Pedicularis dunniana (Orobanchaceae)
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Structural changes associated with corolla wilting may serve as a mechanism for effecting self-pollination. Low pollinator visitation, high seed production and a corolla that persists after anthesis indicates that Pedicularis dunniana is autogamous. Delayed autonomous self-pollination is facilitated by corolla wilting. Wilting of the upper lip (galea) brought the pollen laden anthers into contact with the stigma resulting in the deposition of self pollen on the stigma. The seed set of flowers either emasculated, or with restrained galeae thus preventing anthers brushing against the stigma, was significantly lower than that of open-pollinated flowers. This demonstrates that autogamy occurs in this species through corolla wilting. Germination experiments indicated that outcross seedlings were more vigorous than selfed seedlings as a result of inbreeding depression. It is likely that autogamy provides reproductive assurance for P. dunniana under conditions of pollinator scarcity.
KeywordsPedicularis dunniana corolla wilting delayed autonomous self-pollination autogamy reproductive assurance Orobanchaceae
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