Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (720 KB bytes)

Title: Pollination and seed production in Xerophyllum tenax (Melanthiaceae) in the Cascade Range of central Oregon.

Author: Vance, Nan C.; Bernhardt, Peter; Edens, Retha M.;

Date: 2004

Source: American Journal of Botany. 91(12): 2060-2068

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Xerophyllum tenax is a mass-flowering, nectarless herb in which self-pollination is unavoidable as anthers shed pollen onto the three, receptive stigmatic ridges attached to each pistil within a few hours after expansion of the perianth. We compared the pollination system with reproductive success in this species through controlled, hand-pollination experiments. Ovaries of flowers sampled from unbagged inflorescences were visited by pollen-eating flies (primarily members of the family Syrphidae), beetles (primarily Cosmosalia and Epicauta spp.), and small bees, and produced normal-sized capsules and mature seeds. Ovaries of flowers from inflorescences bagged to prevent insect pollination produced small capsules containing undeveloped or no seeds. Epifluorescence analyses suggest that 0.95 of the uncovered flowers are cross-pollinated by insects with pollen tubes penetrating style and ovary tissue. Flowers show a "leaky" but eariy-acting self-incompatibility system. While hundreds of pollen tubes germinate on each stigmatic surface following self-pollination, few pollen tubes penetrate the stigmatic surface and none penetrate the ovary. In contrast, when stigmas are cross-pollinated by hand with pollen from a second inflorescence pollen tubes were seen penetrating style and ovary. Self-incompatibility in X. tenax parallels that of some species of Trillium, a sister genus within the Melanthiaceae.

Keywords: beargrass, Melanthiaceae, pollen, pollination, seed production, self-incompatibility, Xerophyllum tenax

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Vance, Nan C.; Bernhardt, Peter; Edens, Retha M. 2004. Pollination and seed production in Xerophyllum tenax (Melanthiaceae) in the Cascade Range of central Oregon. American Journal of Botany. 91(12): 2060-2068


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.