Majority of Fritillaria
species have insect pollinators, however some North American and Asian species are bird-pollinated. The switch from entomophily (insect pollination) to ornitophily (bird pollination) happened at least once in the history of the genus. Such pollinator shifts should be accompanied by a divergence in some floral characters - morphological, phenotypical and/or physiological. New character states should be a response to preferences of the most common and the most effective pollinators. These features may also act as phenotypic filters when flowers become repelling, invisible or discouraging to illegitimate flower visitors. Such characters might be of great significance in case of the ornitophilous Fritillaria
species where bees can act as the least efficient pollinators. Moreover, flowers characters favouring bird pollination can differ depending on biogeographic context since ornitophilous Fritillaries grow in different continents and their pollinators belong to different taxonomical groups (hummingbirds vs. passerines). The present paper discusses the evolutionary shift from entomo- to ornitophily in Fritillaria
, illustrating different combination of character states associated with various pollination systems in the genus.