The causes and reproductive consequences of individual variation in nectar production rates within a population of Asclepias quadrifolia were investigated. Two parameters were correlated with nectar production rate per flower: the root weight of the plant and the number of flowers in the inflorescence (umbel). Nectar production increased with increasing root weight but levelled off after a root size of about 3 g was reached. Nectar production decreased with increasing umbel size, but only for umbels that were greater than average size. A total of 57% of the variance in individual nectar production could be explained by these two variables with root weight accounting for 67% of the explained variance. Root weight is a good indicator of a plant's energetic status, indicating the importance of available energy in determining quantity of nectar produced. About 30% of the energy devoted to flowering is utilized in nectar production. Nectar production was significantly correlated with the male component of reproductive fitness, pollinaria removal, but not with the female component, pollinia insertion. Since pod production is limited by resource availability rather than the number of pollinia insertions, nectar production in A. quadrifolia is most closely associated with the maximization of the male function.