Breeding System of the Threatened Endemic, Primula cusickiana var. maguirei (Primulaceae)
Plant Species Biology
Maguire primrose (Primula cusickiana var. maguirei) is a threatened, narrow endemic found only along a 20-km section within a single canyon in northern Utah, USA. Here we describe the breeding strategy of this perennial, distylous, primarily cliff-dwelling species to test for reproductive constraints on the plants. Intermorph outcrossing treatments (i.e. between pin and thrum flowers) were the most successful hand pollinations performed, but those were usually inferior to natural pollination. Intramorph out-crossing also was somewhat successful, but was consistently inferior to intermorph outcrossing. Seed-set resulting from autogamy and geitonogamy treatments was least successful. Morph-specific differences in seed set were observed for our hand pollinations, but not in natural pollination conditions. Our results suggest that pollinators play a crucial role by providing the pollen transfer necessary for maximal seed set in this rare and narrowly distributed distylous plant.
Davidson, J. B. S. L. Durham, and P. G. Wolf. 2014. Breeding system of the threatened endemic, Primula cusickiana var. maguirei (Primulaceae). Plant Species Biology 29: e55-e63.