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VALTIERRA, María Victoria; SPERONI, Gabriela  and  BONIFACINO, José Mauricio. Capitulum and floret phenology in Baccharis aliena (Asteraceae, Astereae). Rodriguésia [online]. 2018, vol.69, n.2, pp.373-383. ISSN 0370-6583.

Inflorescence and floral phenological studies are a source of valuable knowledge to interpret reproductive mechanisms and phylogenetic hypothesis in plants. We analyzed the morphology and functionality floret stages that are present in pistillate homogamous and functionally staminate heterogamous capitula of the dioecious species Baccharis aliena. Phenological monitoring of both types of capitula was carried out in cultivated plants of B. aliena. Floret phenological stages were defined in homogamous and heterogamous capitula by morphometric analyses, from pre-anthesis until senescence symptoms first appeared. Florets of homogamous and heterogamous capitula presented visual anthesis before functional anthesis was achieved and this feature was transferred to the phenology of capitulum. Anthesis of successive series occurs centripetally during a period of 21 days in the homogamous capitula and 20 days in the heterogamous capitula. The timing and length of heterogamous and homogamous capitula is tightly coordinated and almost identical, a feature that ensures floret interaction between plants and pollinator activities. Understanding of breeding systems in the Astereae subtribe Baccharidinae will most assuredly provide helpful insights towards a better understanding of the evolution of this highly successful group.

Keywords : Baccharidinae; dioecy; head inflorescence; heterogamous; homogamous; reproductive biology.

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