U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Date of this Version



Published in Plant Syst. Evol. 219:39-54 (1999).


Penland's beardtongue, a rare endemic plant of the Colorado Plateau, displays a mixed breeding system. Plants are partially self-compatible but set more fruits when cross-pollinated than when self-pollinated. Fruit production is significantly increased by pollinators. However, in two years of study there was no indication that fruit set was being limited by inadequate pollinator visitation. Pollinator effectiveness was judged by correlating bee behavior at the flowers with analysis of the pollen carried on bee bodies. The most important pollinators were native megachilid bees, particularly in the genus Osmia. The bees that pollinate Penland's beardtongue are essential to its reproduction and must be preserved along with this rare plant.