Flexibility in floral phenological events - a strategy adopted by a ruderal weed for successful invasion.
Invasive plants are known to adopt several strategies for successful invasion in new areas. These include flexibility in their genetic system, including reproductive strategies. We report a ruderal weed Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit. exhibiting flexibility in floral phenological events as a strategy for successful invasion. This species has been reported to practise mixed mating system via specialized hinge mechanism that promotes cross pollination. In sub-tropical climates of Jammu, the species has an extended flowering period of 7-8 months and behaves as a highly self-pollinated one with fruit set on bagging (92%) almost in sync with that on open pollination (100%). Although the flowers are visited by insects during the peak blooming period, they were found to be just casual visitors. We speculate that self-pollination has evolved in the species as a strategy for successful invasion.