The Floral Biology of Nymphaea Mexicana Zuccarini




Capperino, Mary Eleanor

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The floral biology of Nymphaea Mexicana, a yellow-flowered water lily native to south Texas, Florida and Mexico was investigated. Anthesis is diurnal with flowers opening and closing for two consecutive days. Flowers on the first day of anthesis are functionally female with the multicellular stigmatic papillae secreting a small quantity of stigmatic fluid. Total dissolved solids of the stigmatic fluid range from 3-4%; glucose and fructose are in equal concentrations and a large number of free amino acids are also present. Flowers are primarily visited by small Dialictus bees, flies and beetles. These insects typically land on the wet stigmatic surface where the stigmatic secretion loosens pollen from the insects body. On the second day of anthesis the anthers dehisce and the stigmatic fluid disappears. This latter phenomenon is associated with a loss of stigma receptivity. Since protogyny is complete, flowers are obligatorily entomophilous. After anthesis the flower closes and submerges. The perianth and androecium begin to abscise and decompose as the fruit matures. The mature fruits yield large orange to brown, arillate, trichomic seeds.



Nymphaea, flowering time


Capperino, M.E. (1984). The floral biology of Nymphaea Mexicana Zuccarini (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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