Activation and possible role of the “food-bodies” of Sauromatum (Araceae)
Acta botanica neerlandica , Volume 33 - Issue 4 p. 483- 496
In the inflorescence of the voodoo lily (Sauromatum guttatum Schot), the spectacular thermogenic respiration which manifests itself in the so-called appendix on the first day of flowering (”D-day”) is coupled with unfolding of the spathe and is synchronized with a mild respiratory climacteric and fragrance-production in the yellow, club-shaped organs placed on the central floral axis just above the pistillate (“female”) flowers. The agent (or mixture of agents) responsible for triggering these three coordinated events originates in the primordia (buds) of the staminate (“male”) flowers, from which it begins to emigrate about one day before D-day. The present report is specifically concerned with the club-shaped organs, hitherto almost completely neglected; their structure, the fragrance they produce, the chemical nature and mobilization of the reserve material they contain, and the nature of the respiratory process to which they fall prey. The results, placed in the framework of certain literature-data, allow speculation as to their biological function, which may well be the stimulation of mating in visiting beetles, i.e., extension of the span of time these potential pollinators spend in the inflorescences. The possibility that in addition the club-shaped organs serve as food for the beetles cannot be excluded.
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B.J.D. Meeuse, E.L. Schneider, C.M. Hess, K. Kirkwood, & J.M. Patt. (1984). Activation and possible role of the “food-bodies” of Sauromatum (Araceae). Acta botanica neerlandica, 33(4), 483–496.
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