Original paper

Pollination and reproduction of Tussilago farfara (Asteraceae)

Wild, Jenny-Dewajana Mayer; Gottsberger, Gerhard


The pollination and reproductive biology of Tussilago farfara L. (Asteraceae) was studied in three populations around Pfuhl, in the municipality of Neu-Ulm, Bavaria, southern Germany. The phenology of capitula and single florets, flower anthesis, flower color, scent, and nectar compounds were investigated and determined, and a quantitative observation of flower-visiting insects was performed. Further, pollination experiments were done, and the pollen grain viability and pollen-ovule-ratio was verified. The yellow color of the ray and disc florets in combination with UV-patterns and a moderate sweet scent seems to be the clue for pollinator attraction. Pollen grains and small amounts of hexose-rich nectar are resources offered by the functionally male disc florets. Capitula with all disc florets removed were less attractive to visitors than untreated ones. The main flower visitors were Apis mellifera (51%), followed by nitidulid beetles (15%), as well as other bees and flies. The phenological data and the p/o-ratio would indicate T. farfara to be facultatively autogamous. The pollination experiments showed, however, that the studied plants were completely self-incompatible and depend on cross-pollination.


tussilago farfaraasteraceae compositaephenologyfloral attractantsflower visitorspollinationreproductionsouthern germany