Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 264, Issue 1–2, pp 101–108 | Cite as

Floral biology of Nuphar pumila (Timm) DC. (Nymphaeaceae) in China



Anthesis in individual flowers of Nuphar pumila (Timm) DC. occurs for four consecutive days. First-day flowers are protogynous and functionally female. Flowers can open completely on the first day of anthesis. This contrasts with all previous reports, which state that first-day flowers of Nuphar are characterized by partial expansion of the calyx, leaving a distal small triangular opening just above the stigmatic disc. Flowers close completely on the first night of anthesis and remain partially open on the subsequent three nights. During the entire anthesis period the stigmas emit a sweet, fruity odor and the petal nectaries produce visible nectar drops. The stigma of N. pumila is secretory and unicellular-papillate. Pollen grains are monosulcate with long spines. Our observations on the mating system of N. pumila indicate that neither asexual seed production nor spontaneous self-pollination occurs. Cross-pollination of second-, third- and fourth-day flowers produced few seeds. Flowers of N. pumila were mainly pollinated by sweat bees, with flies playing a minor pollination role. No beetle visits were observed. Our insect-pollination observations substantiate the view that the relative contribution of flies, bees, and beetles to pollination in a single Nuphar population depends on two factors: the relative abundance of the insects, and presence of alternative food sources.


Floral biology Nuphar pumila Nymphaeaceae 


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Systematics and Evolutionary BotanyInstitute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP. R. China

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