The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Darlingtonia pollination studies in 2006

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Stephen and I watched as many Apis mellifera visited Darlingtonia flowers. But clearly, this bee cannot be considered an element of the plant's normal pollination. European honeybees have only been in North America for a few hundred years.

Furthermore, even these observations do not establish if the bees are really pollinating the Darlingtonia. It is not apparent that the bees deposit pollen on the stigmatic surfaces when they enter the flower. They might simply move directly up to the anthers, and avoid the stigmatic surfaces entirely.

One thing is certain, though. The presence of non-native pollinators at the site will enormously complicate any attempts at figuring out what native pollinators may be present.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005