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Flowering phenology   [ Botany - Physiology ]
Synonyms: Flowering time (or Flowering Season)
Blossoming time, Blooming time

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The time and stage when a plant starts budding and unfolding flowers; the season in which the male and female reproductive organs are formed and pollination takes place.


Synchronic blooming of the cactus Rebutia heliosa

The time a plant chooses to flower is one of the most crucial decisions in its life involving both environmental factors and genetics (the endogenous programme of development)

Plants control their flowering time in order to ensure that they reproduce under favourable conditions at a time that will maximize reproductive success. Flowering phenology is particularly important because it determines reproductive synchrony with potential mates, synchrony with or attractiveness to pollinators and utilization of seasonally available resources such as light or water. Flowering time may also strongly affect reproductive success by determining synchrony with, and thus vulnerability to, floral herbivores and seed predators.

Flowering phenology have a great importance on pollination success, it is expected that pollinator visit rate would be higher and effective in the time of flowering peak.

Variation of flowering time is found in the natural populations of many plant species. If colonizing populations face heterogeneous and unpredictable assemblages of pollinators, herbivores, and resources, then individual variation in flowering phenology may have strong but reproductive consequences.

A major environmental factor that determines flowering time is photoperiod , integrating circadian clock and light signal. The photoperiod or day length is the length of the light period, which changes across the year differently with geographical latitude. The response to photoperiod, circadian clock and light signals is determined by specific plant genes that act as positive and negative regulators of floral initiation, and otherwise exert control over various aspects of plant development.

In an annual plant, the  flowering time is directly related to availability of water its fitness.





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