Gooyera orchids

Orchid Species Blurred Without Bumblebees

An orchid named Goodyera henryi is found in mainland Japan where it is exclusively pollinated by bumblebees, which have long tongues and reach deep into the flowers.  Researchers from Kobe University were surprised to find this orchid on Kozu Island a remote island where there are no bumblebees. Another orchid named Goodyera similis lives on […]

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Hairy Cactus

Hairy Cacti Help Bats Find Flowers

A South American cactus named Espostoa frutescens is pollinated by bats.  As bats are active at night, how do bats find flowers in dark?  Some bat-pollinated flowers are able to reflect bats’ echolocating sounds, so scientists at Nuremberg Zoo, Germany and Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands, studied these cacti to see if they had any special […]

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White Egret Orchid

Fascinating Fertility Fringe for Orchid

A beautiful white orchid known as the white egret orchid Habenaria radiata has distinctive petals with long fringes on each side of the flower.  These were thought to simply act as visual signals to attract their main pollinators, two species of nocturnal hawkmoths.  Scientists in Japan have studied the interaction between moths and orchids and […]

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Mosquito on Flower

Mosquitoes Analyse Flower Chemistry

Mosquitoes analyse flower chemistry, according to reports in ScienceDaily 22 January 2020 and The Daily University of Washington 6 February 2020 and PNAS 7 January 2020, doi:10.1073/pnas.1910589117.  Although mosquitoes have a well-earned reputation for biting people and sucking blood, their main food source is flower nectar.  As explained by Jeffrey Riffell, a professor of biology […]

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Bee Pollen

Safe Sites for Pollen

Safe sites for pollen found, according to reports in ScienceDaily 6 September 2017 and PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182522, 6 September 2017. When bees visit flowers they will collect pollen all over their bodies and legs. Before they visit another flower the bees may groom themselves and move a lot of the pollen into their crop […]

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Single Chemical Links Orchid and Wasp

Single chemical links orchid and wasp, as described in Science, vol. 302, p437, 17 October 2003. Some orchids are pollinated by male insects that try to mate with the flowers. This bizarre behaviour occurs because the flowers produce chemicals that are the same as chemicals emitted by female insects. Usually a mixture of common chemicals […]

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Efficient Fragrance

“Efficient fragrance” brings in bumblebees, as reported in Science, 3 Aug 2001, p763. Snapdragons attract bumblebees with their colourful petals and then entice them to land inside the flower by producing a scent. Botanists studied the biochemical pathway that produces the scent and found it is only active in the inner surface cells of the […]

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Coming to Grips with Wobbly Flowers

Coming to grips with wobbly flowers reported in ScienceDaily 29 May 2012 and Functional Ecology, Vol. 26, pages 941–947, August 2012. Many flower petals have cone shaped cells on the surface of their petals.  For flowers odd shape, such as snapdragons, this enables bees to grip the surface without falling off.  However, many flowers that have a […]

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