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Flowers of Deceit

November 11, 2010
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As  I mentioned in my last post I am absolutely loving studying plants. I just find them so completely fascinating. Recently we learned about pollination, and it completely blew my mind how crafty plants can be.

First let me give you a brief summary of how plant pollination works. Plant ‘A’ acts as the male, and creates sticky pollen at the end of its stamen. Using a combination of fragrance, nectar, and color they lure in pollinators to be covered in pollen. Meanwhile Plant ‘B’ is acts as the female, and makes “her” pistil sticky so that it can receive the pollen when the above said pollinator flies over to “her” to receive its nectar. And that’s it, the birds and the bees of plant sex.

Of course some plants need to be more creative in luring a pollinator. Consider a special type of orchid found in Europe. It tricks male bees into thinking it’s a female bee, and then clandestinely attaches it’s pollen while the bee is trying to get it on. Check out the video below:

This is fascinating to me. Firstly, we all think flowers are these innocent things placed here for our aesthetic enjoyment- little did we know they are really deceitful and conniving. Secondly, I think it’s astonishing that this flower figured out the behaviors and aesthetics bees, and that it’s able to mimic it so competently.

Nature is a marvelous thing.

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