Pollination in Salvia

Pollination in Salvia:

The genus Salvia belongs to family of Labiatae (Mint family) in which the gamopetalous corolla is two-lipped (that is, bilabiate). The lower lip gives platform for the visiting insect and upper lip is just like a hood that protects the floral organs. The flowers are protandrous. Each and every flower has two epipetalous stamens situated in anterio-lateral position. Each stamen has a short filament and a lengthened curved connective. The anther has two portions one half is sterile and the other half is fertile. Both portions of anther are separated apart due to elongation of connective. The elongated connective contains two unequal arms. The upper arm is curved and long. This bears the fertile lobe of anther. The lower arm of connective is short and bears sterile lobe of the anther. The two sterile lobes together form a sterile plate of tissue that is located at the mouth of corolla tube and partially blocks the path of the visiting insect. Upper fertile lobes are sheltered in the upper lip of corolla. As a bee visits the young flower and shifts inward in search of nectar, its head pushes the sterile plate that brings down the fertile anther lobes to strike against its back. The pollen grains are deposited upon the back of the bee. Whenever the pollen-dusted bee visits older flower (with protruded bilipped stigma), its back rubs against the mature stigma bringing around the pollination.

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 Figure: Pollination by insects

As the bisexual flowers of Salvia are protandrous, (as anthers mature former than the gynoecium), cross pollination takes place only whenever pollen-dusted bee visits older flowers with mature gynoecium.


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