1. Grasp all... 2. The flower’s selectivity. 3. Plant engineering. 4. Floral bluff


MUSE - The Science Museum

MUSE - The Science Museum

1. A more functional and less dispersive pollination? It is possible, it takes to be adaptable! The umbelliferae, plants with a lot of small flowers, allow, for example, to several insects – even of very different species - to land and “refuel”. Having a lot of different visitors entails the risk for the pollen of a flower to be transported to one of a different type; doing so, the pollen is wasted. 2. Depending on the shape there is a different pollinator. In the elongated and deep corollas, such as in Cirsium, only insects with a particular oral apparatus such as butterflies, can conquer the treasure, the nectar. This flower nectar is in good hands: these lucky specialists will surely bring it on similar flowers… 3. To reach the nectar contained inside the Labiatae, the insects have to slip into the flower! A comfortable “landing field” invites them to enter through the open flower mouth, where a specific mechanism deposits the pollen on the back or the belly of the insect. This pollen, after the next flight, is collected by the pistil of another flower of the same species: this is how the fecundation begins. 4. Look like those you want to attract! This is the pollination strategy developed by some plants, such as orchids from the Ophrys genus, to maximize the reproduction chances. Their flowers recall the female of the pollinator insect which, after the landing, starts to fly, hopeful and loaded with pollen, towards another “liar flower”. Some particular perfumes have the same function: they attract the “right one”, to facilitate the fecundation. It is the case of some orchids and their pollinator ants.

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  • Title: 1. Grasp all... 2. The flower’s selectivity. 3. Plant engineering. 4. Floral bluff
  • Date Created: 2013
  • Location: Muse, Trento, Italy
  • Photographer: Matteo De Stefano
  • Object Name: Pollination


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