16 Citations (Scopus)
439 Downloads (Pure)


The degree of floral gloss varies between species. However, little is known about this distinctive floral trait, even though it could be a key feature of floral biotic and abiotic interactions. One reason for the absence of knowledge is the lack of a simple, repeatable method of gloss measurement that can be used in the field to study floral gloss. A protocol is described for measuring gloss in petal samples collected in the field, using a glossmeter. Repeatability of the technique is assessed. We demonstrate a simple yet highly accurate and repeatable method that can easily be implemented in the field. We also highlight the huge variety of glossiness found within flowers and between species in a sample of spring-blooming flowers collected in Namaqualand, South Africa. We discuss the potential uses of this method and its applications for furthering studies in plant-pollinator interactions. We also discuss the potential functions of gloss in flowers.
Translated title of the contributionA technique for measuring petal gloss, with examples from the Namaqualand flora
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29476
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Public Library of Science
Rose publication type: Article

Sponsorship: HMW and AGE were funded by a networking grant from the Royal Society (United Kingdom) and the National Research Foundation (South Africa). Equipment was funded by a Royal Society Research grant. HMW was funded by a Lloyds of London Tercentenary fellowship.

Terms of use: (c) 2012 Whitney et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dive into the research topics of 'A technique for measuring petal gloss, with examples from the Namaqualand flora'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this