Pollination biology of Bergeranthus multiceps (Aizoaceae) with preliminary observations of repeated flower opening and closure

Peter, C.I. and Dold, A.P. and Barker, N.P. and Ripley, B.S. (2004) Pollination biology of Bergeranthus multiceps (Aizoaceae) with preliminary observations of repeated flower opening and closure. South African Journal of Science, 100 (11 & 12). pp. 624-629. ISSN 0038-2353




Little is known about pollination of the Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae). There are sparse reports of generalist pollination in the family by a variety of insects (predominantly bees). Furthermore, most species are self-incompatible in cultivation. In this study, observations were made on two populations of Bergeranthus multiceps (Salm-Dyck) Schwantes growing in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Insects visiting the flowers were collected and examined for pollen. While 79 individual insects (in 24 genera representing 14 families and four orders) were collected visiting the flowers, the majority (43 individuals) were female Allodapula variegata bees (Apidae, subfamily Xylocopinae, tribe Allodapini)collecting pollen. All other bee visitors were also female, suggesting pollen collection as the primary activity at the flowers. The protandrous flowers were found to be self-incompatible, pointing to the importance of bee-mediated xenogamy in this species. The flowers of B. multiceps are bright yellow in the human visual spectrum. In addition, the petals of this species reflect ultraviolet light. In contrast, the yellow anthers absorb UV. Flower opening and closing is common in the Aizoaceae. Interestingly, in B. multiceps flowers open at about 15:30 and remain open for approximately three hours before closing again in the late afternoon. These afternoon flower opening events were found to be closely correlated to ambient temperatures above 23°C, relative humidity lower than 50% and vapour pressure deficit below 1.05 kPa measured from as early as 09:00 on the days when flowers opened.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Rhodes Centenary issue
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aizoaceae, Bergeranthus multiceps, pollen collection, flower opening, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Botany
ID Code:123
Deposited By: Rhodes Library Archive Administrator
Deposited On:20 Feb 2006
Last Modified:12 Nov 2012 13:47
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