Sep 30, 2009

Lecocarpus pinnatifidus (Asteraceae) in an isolated population in the Galápagos Islands

Lecocarpus pinnatifidus is an endemic member of the Asteraceae occurring on only one island in the Galápagos archipelago. The capital are large with female ray florets and male disc florets. They are self-compatible but this study suggests fruit set is pollen limited. Visits from Xylocopa darwini and other larger insect pollinators are rare, and small insects seem to be the main pollinators. Small insects carry few pollen grains and most likely mediate self-pollinations. Self-compatibility and seed set after selfing are the most common reproductive strategy in the Galápagos Islands and L. pinnatifidus seemingly fits well into this group.

The cutleaf daisy (Lecocarpus pinnatifidus) is named for the deeply and irregularly lobed margins of its leaves. It is one of the rarest plants in the Galapagos, and the world, known only from Punta Cormorante, Floreana Island, where this picture was taken. This area is one of the best visitor sites to see a variety of endemic plants in a relatively small area.

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