Flowering biology of three taxa of the genus Scilla L. (Hyacinthaceae) and flower visitation by pollinating insects

Beata Żuraw

Abstract


Squill of the family Hyacinthaceae is a small bulb perennial. The present study on flowering and pollination of Scilla sibirica Andr., S. sibirica 'Alba', and S. bifolia L. was conducted in the years 1995, 1997, and 1999 in the Botanical Garden of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. The plants flowered from the end of March until the middle of May. The duration of flowering of individual taxa was similar and it averaged 20 days (Scilla sibirica), 21 days (S. sibirica 'Alba'), and 23 days (S. bifolia). The opening of flower buds always started around 9.00 am and lasted, depending on the taxon, until 3.00 pm (Scilla sibirica 'Alba'), 4.00 pm (S. bifolia), and 5.00 pm (S. sibirica). The flowers were visited by bees (Apoidea), primarily the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), bumblebee (Bombus L.), and solitary bees. Numerous honey bee foragers were observed; they bit through the anther walls and even attempted to open still closed flower buds in order to reach the pollen.

Keywords


squill (Scilla L.); Hyacinthaceae; flowering rate; insect visitation

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