Daily Archives: 8th of November 2010

Functionality of marcescent corollas

Functionality of marcescent corollas
Functionality of marcescent corollas

Persistence of withered corollas after anthesis (‘corolla marcescence’) is widespread in angiosperms, yet its functional significance does not seem to have been explored. Herrera examines seed production in two southern Spanish insect-pollinated plants, Viola cazorlensis and Lavandula latifolia, and shows that removal of the corollas increases mean number of seeds per fruit in the former, but decreases the proportion of flowers that produce ripened fruit in the latter as a result of higher insect seed predation. Thus marcescent corollas should not be dismissed a priori as biologically irrelevant left-overs from past floral functions.

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