How to translate text using browser tools
1 October 2006 BIOLOGY OF THE GEOPHYTIC LILY, TRITELEIA LAXA (THEMIDACEAE), IN GRASSLANDS OF THE NORTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY
Robert A. Schlising, Scott A. Chamberlain
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Triteleia laxa (Themidaceae), a liliaceous geophyte common in California at lower elevations with mediterranean climate, was studied during 1998–2004 at four sites in the northern Sacramento Valley. New individual plants were randomly selected each year at one to four of these grassland or open savanna sites to provide a composite study of the biology and life history of the plant. A mature plant produced two leaves after fall rains begin, a new corm on top of the shrinking old corm in spring, and a scape with an umbel of large bluish flowers in late March or April. By seed production in May, above-ground parts were dead, and the new corm and seeds persisted through summer. Mean leaf lengths varied from 22 to 28 cm; no correlation was found with amount of precipitation. Mean scape lengths also varied, from 23 to 32 cm; overall, there was a negative correlation with spring precipitation. Corms of flowering plants had a mean volume of 1.30 cm3, and occurred at a mean depth of 7.27 cm; corm volume was correlated with scape height and with number of flowers. Dry mass increased linearly in the new corm during the spring growth period. Number of flowers per plant varied among sites and the mean varied highly significantly among 5 yr (range 8–12.6). Plants appeared to be largely self-incompatible, but produced a small number of selfed seeds when pollinated by hand. The pollen∶ovule ratio was about 3100∶1. Mean fruit set (range 50–74%) and mean seed set (range 40–58%) were low, and varied significantly among sites and years. Seed mass averaged about 1.7 mg, and seeds showed 100% viability. Germination time was about 4 wk after wetting, with up to 98% of seeds germinating. The seedling was carried downward from the seed by the elongating cotyledon, ultimately producing a single foliage leaf, a lateral contractile root that shortened in April (and in situ doubtless pulls the seedling deeper into the soil), and a corm <4 mm in diameter. Soils occupied in study sites were loams, with 20 to 39% clay particles. This study on T. laxa gives a reasonably complete picture of the biology for a common geophyte, and we hope that this work will provide impetus for additional studies of other widespread or local geophytes.

Robert A. Schlising and Scott A. Chamberlain "BIOLOGY OF THE GEOPHYTIC LILY, TRITELEIA LAXA (THEMIDACEAE), IN GRASSLANDS OF THE NORTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY," Madroño 53(4), 321-341, (1 October 2006). https://doi.org/10.3120/0024-9637(2006)53[321:BOTGLT]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 October 2006
KEYWORDS
annual grassland
contractile root
corm
Geophyte
low fruit and seed set
Mediterranean climate
Triteleia laxa
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top