Pollinator Syndromes Part II: The Birds and the Bees

After writing a post on pollinator syndromes , I decided a fun weekend project would be to photograph some flowers in my neighborhood that were good examples of what attracts certain types of pollinators.

I started with the following plant, which I thought would be a great example of something that would attract a hummingbird:

hummingbird plant flower

Birds are attracted to the color red, and the long tubular flowers are the perfect shape for long, thin hummingbird tongues. Sure enough, within 30 seconds a hummingbird arrived at the scene.

hummingbird plant bird

hummingbird plant bird 2

Here are some of the other flowers I photographed on my walk around the block:

Brassica far

Brassica close

The color and shape of the wild radish (Raphanus) flower looks like it would be attractive to bees, flies, and possibly butterflies.

Jupiter's Beard (Cetranthus ruber)

Jupiter’s Beard (Cetranthus ruber)

The purple color is attractive to butterflies, and the tubular shape of these flowers make them ideal for butterfly probosces. The position of the anther (the structure that holds the pollen) and the stigma (receptive part of the female structure) above the flower means it will come into contact with butterflies visiting to drink nectar. Because they are in clusters, they have enough surface area for the butterflies to land when they drink.

Sticky monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus

Sticky monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus)

M aurantiacus nectar guides

The patterns this flower are likely “nectar guides,” or patterns that guide insect visitors to the nectar reward at the base of the flower. Nectar guides are often found on bee pollinated flowers.

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3 responses to “Pollinator Syndromes Part II: The Birds and the Bees

  1. Anne E Schellman

    What a fantastic blog post. Thanks for making information about pollinators fun and easy to learn. I like your “bite-size” posts. 🙂
    Anne

    Anne Schellman
    Urban IPM Educator
    UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM)
    University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
    530-750-1240

    From: Diadasia
    Reply-To: Diadasia
    Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 3:08 PM
    To: Anne E Schellman
    Subject: [New post] Pollinator Syndromes Part II: The Birds and the Bees

    diadasia posted: “After writing a post on pollinator syndromes , I decided a fun weekend project would be to photograph some flowers in my neighborhood that were good examples of what attracts certain types of pollinators. I started with the following plant, which I th”

    • Thanks for your kind words! I always have to censor my desire to give too much information, so it is reassuring to hear that you like the length of my posts.

  2. Love the fast, fun facts! And the photographs are great.

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