Nocturnal flowering and pollination of a rare Caribbean sage, Salvia arborescens (Lamiaceae)

2016-09-13T07:23:50Z (GMT) by Martin Reith Scott Zona

The phenology, floral biology and pollination ecology of Salvia arborescens Urb. & Ekman (Lamiaceae) are reported, based on field and garden observations. The flowers of S. arborescens are white, fragrant and rich in nectar. Anthesis begins in the late afternoon, and flowers wilt by late morning of the following day. Floral features fit the moth pollination syndrome. S. arborescens flowers are visited by a variety of nocturnal moths in the wild, including Celiptera levinum (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Erebidae), which was observed carrying pollen of this Salvia. This is the first report of a night-blooming, moth-pollinated Salvia. Hummingbirds, butterflies and beetles may play a role as secondary pollinators.