Skip to main content

Circadian rhythmicity of fragrance emission in flowers of Hoya carnosa R. Br.


In flowers of Hoya carnosa R. Br. the nocturnal emission of fragrance occurs according to an endogenous circadian rhythmicity. This was demonstrated by the continuation of rhythmical emission for two to three cycles under conditions of permanent illumination. The free-running period was approx. 29 h under these conditions. The inversion of light/dark cycles caused the entrainment of the next peak of emission by approx. 12 h whether the inversion was started with a light period or a with dark period prolonged for 12 h. When only the flower used for fragrance analysis was subjected to an inverted photoperiod, the rest of the plant remaining under the original light/dark cycle, the synchronization of fragrance emission occurred according to the Zeitgeber perceived by the individual flower.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Bünning, E. (1956) Endogenous rhythms in plants. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 7, 71–90

    Google Scholar 

  • Bünning, E. (1967) The physiological clock. Springer, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Hess, D. (1983) Die Blüte. Ulmer, Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, M.B., Mansfield, T.A. (1975) Circadian rhythms in plants. Sci. Prog. London 62, 103–125

    Google Scholar 

  • Mägdefrau, K. (1973) Geschichte der Botanik. Leben und Leistung großer Forscher. Fischer. Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  • Matile, Ph., Altenburger, R. (1988) Rhythms of fragrance emission in flowers. Planta 174, 242–247

    Google Scholar 

  • Overland, L. (1960) Endogenous rhythm in opening and odor of flowers of Cestrum nocturnum. Am. J. Bot. 47, 378–382

    Google Scholar 

  • Rensing, L. (1973) Biologische Rhythmen und Regulation. Fischer, Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  • Sweeney, B.M. (1969) Rhythmic phenomena in plants. Academic Press, London New York

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Altenburger, R., Matile, P. Circadian rhythmicity of fragrance emission in flowers of Hoya carnosa R. Br.. Planta 174, 248–252 (1988).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words

  • Circadian rhythmicity
  • Flower fragrance
  • Hoya
  • Volatiles