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Floral biology


Bermadinger-Stabentheiner E & Stabentheiner A 1995. Dynamics of thermogenesis and structure of epidermal tissues in inflorescences of Arum maculatum L. New Phytologist 131: 41-50.

Floral biology of Aroid plants:

The Arum lily (Arum maculatum) is a typical gliding trap inflores­cence ("Gleitfallen­blume"). The spadix of the inflores­cence con­sists of sepa­rate male and fem­ale flowers at the base and a sterile club at the tip - the appendix. During flo­wering the spa­the unfolds in its upper part and ex­po­ses the appen­dix whereas the lower part, forming the floral chamber (ba­sal bulb) with the male and fema­le flower parts, rem­ains closed to trap small insects. The appendix and parts of the sexual organs heat up via combustion of starch, to improve vaporisation of in part bad smelling 'odour', which attracts the insects. We (Edith and Anton Stabentheiner) compare the (thermal) character­istics and tem­porall patterns of flowering phases of different Aroid plants.

Infrared thermogram of a flowering Arum lily inflorescence (Arum maculatum) - the male flowers in the floral chamber (bottom, light blue) and the sterile appendix (top, yellow) are heated up to 15°C above ambient temperature to release odours that attract small flies (Psychoda sp.) which pollinate the flowers (real duration: ca. 24 h)

Ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil.

Anton Stabentheiner

Ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil. Anton Stabentheiner Institut für Biologie

Institut für Biologie

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