Patterns of Floral Nectar Production of Onion (Allium cepa L.) and the Effects of Environmental Conditions

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Successful pollination of onion (Allium cepa L.) flowers greatly depends on adequate nectar production. In order to understand the nectar production dynamics of onion flowers, nectar was collected at regular intervals during a 24-hour period. Hourly nectar volumes were compared to a variety of environmental conditions, including amount of solar radiation, relative humidity, temperature, wind speed, and evapotranspiration. Production patterns showed mid- to late-morning peaks and late evening peaks in nectar volume. Nectar appeared to be reabsorbed by the flowers during the afternoon and overnight hours. Individual flowers produced the highest amount of nectar several days after initially opening. Nectar production was significantly and inversely related to relative humidity while the effects of temperature, evapotranspiration, wind speed and solar radiation on nectar production were not significant in this study.

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