Guayule (Tarthenium argentatum, Asteraceae) is one of two major plant species grown for natural rubber. Studies were conducted to determine the effect of honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollination and season on seed set and total seed yield/ha. The experiments involved four pollination treatments: plants caged with bees; plants caged without bees; plants open pollinated (uncovered); and plants individually covered. Seeds were harvested monthly July-September 1984, and May-September 1985. Plots with bees produced at least 150% more seeds than plots without bees, and there were no qualitative differences in the seed weights among treatments. Highest seed yield was in May and September. Results indicate that (1) insect pollination in guayule increases seed yield and (2) fewer seeds are produced in the warmest months.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science