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Pollination Ecology of Monarda didyma, M. clinopodia, and Hybrids (Lamiaceae) in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

W. Mark Whitten
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 68, No. 3 (Mar., 1981), pp. 435-442
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2442781
Page Count: 8
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Pollination Ecology of Monarda didyma, M. clinopodia, and Hybrids (Lamiaceae) in the Southern Appalachian Mountains
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Abstract

Monarda didyma L. and M. clinopodia L. occasionally form introgressive populations in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Monarda didyma produces large red scentless nectar-rich flowers and is pollinated primarily by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris [Linnaeus]). The smaller, white, scented flowers of Monarda clinopodia produce small amounts of nectar and are pollinated mainly by bumblebees (Bombus spp.). The two species are highly interfertile and have strongly overlapping flowering periods. Differences in pollinator sets and pollinator constancy appear to be only partial barriers to hybridization. Lack of suitable habitats for the establishment of hybrid progeny might be the most important isolating mechanism between the two species.

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