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.


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

    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".