Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 255, Issue 1–2, pp 99–109 | Cite as

Spatial fragrance patterns in flowers of Silene latifolia: Lilac compounds as olfactory nectar guides?

  • S. Dötterl1
  • A. Jürgens


Floral odour can differ qualitatively and quantitatively between different parts of the flowers, and these spatial fragrance patterns within the flowers can be used by pollinators for orientation on flowers. Here we present results of spatial fragrance patterns within flowers of the dioecious Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae). Volatiles were collected and analysed using a highly sensitive dynamic headspace method, which allows dramatically reducing the sample time. From all flower parts, especially the petals and the anthophore emitted the typical flower volatiles of S. latifolia. However, compounds emitted from the petals differed from compounds emitted by the anthophore. The anthophore emitted the monoterpenoids lilac aldehydes and alcohols, whereas, all other typical scent compounds (e.g. benzoids, other monoterpenoids) were emitted by the petals. Lilac aldehydes are known to be behaviourally very attractive for noctuid moths, and they may serve as nectar guides in S. latifolia.

Key words

Caryophyllaceae GC-MS floral scent lilac compounds moths nectar guides Silene latifolia White Campion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant SystematicsUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory of Pollination Ecology, Institute of EvolutionUniversity of HaifaIsrael

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