In Brazil, the family Gesneriaceae is represented by 23 genera and approximately 200 species. Seemannia sylvatica is an herb that occurs in dense populations in the riverbeds at Serra da Bodoquena. Goals of this study were to report the floral biology (on the first five days of anthesis), as well as to determine the breeding system and the pollinators of S. sylvatica. Data collection was conducted from June 2005 to July 2006 through monthly field trips, lasting for five days. Data on floral biology, breeding system and on the floral visitors were taken from individuals located along a track 2500 m long, in riparian forest of Salobrinha river. Flowers of S. sylvatica are tubular, red, with no perceptive odor and lasted more than five days (ca. 10 - 20 days in individuals transferred to an urban garden and kept in vases). Seemania sylvatica is protandrous, and the male phase occurred between the first and the fourth days of anthesis, while the female one started in the fifth day. Mean nectar volume secreted was 4.77 ± 3.2 µl, with a significative variation among flowers of different ages. Otherwise, nectar concentration average was 9.71 ± 4.41%, and did not varied significantly in flowers of different ages. The flowers of S. sylvatica were pollinated mainly by the hummingbirds Phaethornis pretrei and Thalurania furcata, and pierced by the bee Ceratina chloris. The butterfly Parides anchises orbygnianus was considered an occasional pollinator of these flowers. Seemannia sylvatica is self-compatible, since fruit set occurred on the experiments of spontaneous self-pollination, manual self-pollination, cross-pollination and open pollination (control). The protandry, coupled with the pattern of nectar production, characterized by low volume and solute concentration, which induces the pollinators to visit different flowers in a given circuit foraging, act maximizing the likelihood of cross-pollination in S. sylvatica. Moreover, the high proportion of fruit set by autogamy is an important strategy considering that S. sylvatica is visited by few species, being pollinated mainly by P. pretrei. Therefore, in the absence of these visitors, the formation of fruits may be achieved.
breeding system; ornithophily; Phaethornis pretrei; protandry; riparian forest