Friday, July 13, 2018

Glorious Composite Flowers And Pollination

You just can't beat composite flowers for color and long lasting flowers in the garden.  These flowers are composed of ray flowers, the large red and yellow petals seen here, and disk flowers which we will examine more closely.  The Monarch Butterfly has become a  famous poster child for the pollination movement and no wonder just look at it!  Even the Postal Service agrees. The Monarch beat out the bee 12 to 8. Their Protect pollinator stamps came out on August 1, 2017 and are now sold out.  You can still see them online.

But there are many more pollinators than Monarch Butterflies and Honeybees.   Here a bee or a fly of a different sort is visiting the ring of tiny yellow flowers.

Early in the morning when fog fills the air and dew glistens on a Gloriosa Daisy, today's ring of disk flowers can be seen as buds.  The flowers will open later when the sun dries the dew and it is time  for the pollinators to begin their search for nectar and pollen.

This solid color flower has a ring of tiny flowers with nice yellow pollen.  Before long the pollen will be collected by this pollinator and perhaps others.  Tomorrow the process will be repeated.  This continues until the entire disk has its turn to bloom.

Last weekend I cut some Gloriosa Daisies to bring a little of their cheery color indoors.  In my kitchen where there are no pollinators and there is no rain to wash the pollen away, the rings of flowers with pollen last for several days.  The ring of buds for tomorrow can be easily seen in this picture.

Pollinating a flower isn't always easy.  Sometime a Flower spider is waiting there to eat you!

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