Flower colour phenology in British mesotrophic grassland communities

John M. Warren, T. Billington

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Descriptions of anthropocentric phenologies of flower colour were obtained for all thirteen British mesotrophic grassland communities, defined by the National Vegetation Classification. They were obtained by combining information on species abundance with data on flowering time and flower colour. Although the results are crude estimates, they clearly demonstrate that grassland communities differ in their floral phenologies with yellow-flowered species being significantly most abundant, and blue-flowered species being least abundant than the colours of other flowering species in British grasslands. The peak months for flowering were June and July. Significant interactions were observed between community type and flower colour; community type and month; and flower colour and month. These interactions may be explained by ecological differences between the communities, for example hay meadows flowered earlier than other grassland types. It is argued that other differences between communities in their floral phenologies, for example the absence of blue flowers from the agriculturally improved MG7 and MG11 swards, may support the hypothesis that the limited availability of pollination niches may affect plant community structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number4
Early online date11 Nov 2005
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2005


  • community structuring
  • flower colour phenology
  • mesotrophic grassland
  • plant commuity
  • pollination ecology


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