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  Inflorescence Odor Changes in Response to Temperature
From: Don Burns <burns at mobot.org> on 1997.12.15 at 19:15:42(1758)
The temperature is again tonight dropping into the low 50degF point and
it is very windy. Since the wind chill will probably put the effective
temperature far below 50, once again the water dwellers will spend their
night in the garage. The Uropspathas have a number of inflorescences most
of which this afternoon were exuding their characteristicly sweet
melon-like odor. Just a few hours later, the fragrance is gone. I know
this is not a response to darkness, as they were quite fragrant last
night at 11PM.

The sole other significant change that took place in the past few hours
is the temperature: It has dropped at least 12 or 13 degF. Has anyone
else observed odor changes in response temperature changes? Granted, this
is certainly no controlled experiment I have just performed, but I do
intend to check out what these guys smell like again mid-day tomorrow.

I am aware of plants whose flowers respond to light, or lack of it,
to raise the intensity of flower odors, my favorite being Brassavola
nodosa, the orchid that is pollinated by specific night flying insects.
But I have not night heard of plants with flowers that respond to
temperature.

Don

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From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.12.16 at 05:56:33(1759)
I don't know if it's defiinitely a response to temperature but Brugmansia
is distinctly different when the weather cools. On warm evenings with
temperatures above 70 (just a dwindling memory for me now that there's ice
outside) my Brugmansia can be detected from the opposite end of the yard.
On cooler evenings with temperatures in the 50s, you have to stick your
nose directly into the Brugmansia to notice that it is fragrant. I know
that it's also a change in the season, but if there's a surprise warm
evening, the Brugmansia suddenly becomes fragrant again.
Les

From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at classic.msn.com> on 1997.12.16 at 06:11:08(1762)
----------
Sent: Monday, December 15, 1997 10:15 PM
To: ju-bo@msn.com
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From: Rand Nicholson <writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 1997.12.16 at 06:15:12(1763)
>The temperature is again tonight dropping into the low 50degF point and
>it is very windy. Since the wind chill will probably put the effective
>temperature far below 50, once again the water dwellers will spend their
>night in the garage. The Uropspathas have a number of inflorescences most
>of which this afternoon were exuding their characteristicly sweet
>melon-like odor. Just a few hours later, the fragrance is gone. I know
>this is not a response to darkness, as they were quite fragrant last
>night at 11PM.
(Snip)
>But I have not night heard of plants with flowers that respond to
>temperature.
>
>Don

It would make sense that plants that produce volatile oils and such to
produce an odour to attract pollinators would shut down below a certain
temperature. Most insects also shut down and become torpid at lower
temperatures, also.

Kind Regards,

Rand (-18 C)

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