Pollination and fruit set in the tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Sendt.)

D.H. Lewis, John Considine

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    The floral biology of the tamarillo Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Sendt. 'Oratia Round' was examined using field-grown and glasshouse-grown plants. The tamarillo exhibits a modular growth pattern, initiating a number of leaves (usually 3-4) and then a terminal inflorescence. Inflorescence structure is compound and may consist of up to 50 flowers. Flowers open sequentially along each axis of the inflorescence. Individual flowers close at night but reopen each day, for up to 5 days. The stigma is wet and although exudate was present from 3 days before to 7 days after flower opening (Day -3 to Day +7), the effective pollination period (by hand pollination) was from Day -1 until Day +1 only. An insect vector is required for pollination and both honey bees and bumble bees were observed to visit and pollinate tamarillo flowers. The tamarillo is self-compatible although the nature of pollen release onto the thorax and abdomen of bees visiting the flowers could effect both self pollination and cross pollination. No parthenocarpic fruit were set under any of the circumstances investigated here.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)113-123
    JournalNew Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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