14 March, 2013

Pollination ecology and floral function of Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon

By Peter Bernhardt, Retha Meier, Nan Vance

A pendant flower of Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) with a vespine wasp seeking nectar. Photograph Nan Vance

Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) is one of only two peony species that are native to the western hemisphere. The two species are found in western North America growing almost exclusively in the wild. The Brown’s peony grows north of the California peony and at higher elevations. We wanted to find out more about the flowers and pollinators that visited the flowers of this wild cousin of the ornamental peony. At a location that encompassed a prairie habitat in the Blue Mountains of Northwestern Oregon, we examined the flower’s pollen for sterility and for its interaction with the carpel (whether it was self-compatible with its own pollen or strictly a cross-pollinated flower).  We investigated the flower’s insect visitors and determined which visitors were potential pollinators. We also measured the nectar quantitatively and qualitatively. 

Read the whole summary in: English.
Read the scientific publication in JPE .

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