The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Darlingtonia pollination studies in 2006

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Flower beckons:
Consider this Darlingtonia flower, glowing in the sun. How would a potential pollinator enter the flower to gain access to the pollen? Any pollinator that lands on the top of the flower (dangerously close to the hungry spider visible at the top of the flower!) cannot enter the flower from above. Meanwhile, the red petals are slippery, stiff, and closely pressed against each other, and cannot be easily pulled aside to allow entry. The only access into the flower is near the bottom of the petals, where crimps in the petals produce a set of entry ports. Do you see them here? You can see one of the stigmatic lobes, too. When a pollinator enters, the first thing it would do is deposit pollen on the anther. Clearly, this plant is adapted to a flying pollinator.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005