As I photographed the flowers, I noticed many ants crawling on the Lupine's stems and flowers. In fact, in one photo I snapped, a spike of flowers had at least ten ants. In the picture below, some ants are exploring a flower.
"Pollen is the only pollinator reward offered by L. perrenis and its removal requires the manipulation of a pump mechanism in the flower..." (pg. 22. see footnote)
Oh, hey! Here is a Bumblebee visiting the Wild Lupine! Let's see what happens.
In the photo below, a Bumblebee has landed on the flower and has depressed the wings exposing the keel. The keel is pressed against the bee's mid-section.
A metered dose of pollen by pushing down on the "wings"... reminds me of when I was a kid... enjoying candy from a nifty PEZ dispenser.
Fully tripping the mechanism dispenses a bit of pollen. (below)
Well, the bumblebees were busy, so, to the right of the bee (photo below), some of the flowers have been tripped and need some time to recover and reset themselves.
Now, I wonder... what were those ants after? I guess that's a good excuse to stop again at the Wild Lupine patch, eh? Besides, I kinda' like those lever-action Lupines.
The quote was from a dissertation by
Gregory Keith Shenk, "Developmentally plastic responses to pollinators by Lupinus perennis flowers and what they tell us about the pollination mechanism in the general lupine flower" (January 1, 2005). Dissertations Collection for University of Connecticut