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The cost of reproduction has been studied in two populations of the polycarpic herb Asphodelus albus under natural conditions The percentage of plants with flowers was determined in four sites and varied markedly among them The occurrence of reproduction was size-dependent, increasing flowering probability with plant size The cost of reproduction was assessed in terms of modular growth in reproductive plants relative to modular growth in vegetative ones I compared the modular growth of vegetative and reproductive plants considering two different densities m each of two populations Neither incidence of flowering nor modular growth were affected by density Flowering plants exhibited a withinramet demographic cost (in terms of modular growth) relative to non-flowering ramets in one population but not in the other This cost was greater in larger plants These results were concordant with the occurrence of flowering at both sites Both populations exhibited size-dependent patterns of allocation to reproduction, but no significant relationships were found between allocation to reproduction and cost of reproduction The data presented demonstrate differences in the cost of reproduction within a species This cost might determine whether a plant begins the reproduction, but probably have no effect on the reproductive allocation since the weight of the reproductive structures was not related to modular growth