John Bryan
Wed, 14 Apr 2004 09:47:42 PDT
Dear All;

Mary Sue posed a question regarding fragrance in some plants in the same
species having fragrance and others of the same species not having any

I do not think this has anything to do with pollinators, rather
geographic variation. I remember discussing this with Professor
Doorenbos in Wagening, The Netherlands, back in 1956, when I was living
and studying in The Netherlands. He told me that Cyclamen hederifolium
from North Africa had a distinct fragrance, while others from other
regions of the Mediterranean did not. His opinion was that the gene
carrying the fragrance character was present in all of the species but
recessive. The colonies in North Africa were of the type that allowed
the gene to surface and were thus fragrant. No doubt other colonies with
fragrant flowers were to be found in isolated pockets within the natural
range of the plants, but all from North Africa were fragrant. This seems
to me to be a logical reason. If it were due to pollinators the
variations and ability to adapt to a particular habitat would mean that
even greater variances in fragrance would be apparent. Cheers, John E.

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