Monday, April 30, 2012

Fringed Polygala

We were out in the mountains driving along a dirt road when I saw a shaft of sunlight illuminating these Fringed Polygalas.
  It was fortunate that I stopped to take some pictures, because one of the Fringed Polygala had two flowers which nicely illustrated their pollinator-punching action.  The flower on the left is all set and ready to plunk some pollen on the belly of a bee when it lands on the inviting landing pad.  The flower on the right has already bopped a bee, as evidenced by the lowered landing pad (the purple fringes) and the exposed pollen applicator.
 I posted a series about these amazing flowers last spring.
Gaywings, Part I    an introduction to the Fringed Polygala, or Gaywings, as many people call them.
Gaywings, Part II   about Fringed Polygala's ingenious pollination system.
Gaywings, Part III  about Fringed Polygala's underground flowers.

2 comments:

  1. Dana, is right and left mixed up in your description ?
    "The lowered landing pad" looks to be on the left ...

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    1. Sybil,
      On the flower on the right side of the picture...notice how fringes and white pouch angle down, exposing the greenish-yellow stamen... that's what I meant by the "lowered landing pad".

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