The spatial spread of genetically identical plants (ramets) may decrease paternal diversity and fertility, particularly towards the centre of large clumped clones. Vandepitte et al. examine mating patterns and use AFLP to genotype all flowering individuals and all viable seeds produced during a single season in a population of the allogamous Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley). They find that the overall outcrossing rate is high and that neither the distance of ramets with respect to distinct genets nor the distance to the genet centre significantly affects fruiting success or seed production. They conclude that random mating and considerable pollen inflow suggest that pollen dispersal distances are sufficiently high to mitigate local mate scarcity despite extensive clonal spread.
And did you know: Lily of the Valley is associated with May 1st and with many celebrations, starting from the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane?