The biology of flowering of winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis (L.) Salisb.)

Krystyna Rysiak, Beata Żuraw

Abstract


Eranthis hyemalis belongs to the Ranunculaceae family whose representatives enrich early spring pollen flow and nectar for pollinating insects. Flowering biology and morphological characteristics flowers of winter aconite were studied. The forage value was estimated as the rate of nectar production. Observations were carried out between 2008 and 2011 in the Botanical Garden of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University located in the Lublin area. In the conditions of Lublin, flowering of winter aconite plants started at the beginning of February and lasted until the end of March. The seasonal bloom dynamics was strongly affected by maximum temperatures, which intensified flower blooming, and snowfalls which hampered this process. During the day, flowers opened between 8.00 am and 3.00 pm, but the highest intensity was between 10.00 am and 12.00 am. The process of pollen release, with the average number of 29 stamens shedding pollen in the flowers, lasted from 2 to 3 days. During the day the largest number of anthers opened at noon hours, between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm, though a certain rise in this number was also observed in the morning hours between 8.00 and 9.00 am. Eranthis hyemalis flowers develop funnel-shaped nectaries, on average 3-6 per flower. The determined amount of nectar per flower was 1.23 mg, while the concentration of sugars in it averaged 72.11%. The weight of nectar sugar per flower was 0.88 mg.

Keywords


winter aconite; Eranthis hyemalis; dynamics of flowering; nectar; pollen release

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