Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The major purpose of a flower is to join the pollen of one plant with the ovules of another in order to form seed which is genetically unique, allowing for variation to occur. As such, each flower has a specific design which best encourages the transfer of this pollen. Many floras are reliant upon the wind to move pollen between flowers of the same species. Others rely on animals to accomplish this feat. Even huge animals such as birds, bats, and pygmy possums can be employed. The period of time during which this process can take place is called anthesis.
The flowers of other species are pollinated by the wind they have no need to attract pollinators and therefore tend not to be "showy". Wind-pollinated flowers are referred to as anemophilous. While the pollen of entomophilies flowers tends to be large-grained, sticky, and rich in protein anemophilous flower pollen is habitually small-grained, very light, and of little nutritional value to insects, though it may still be gathered in times of dearth. Honeybees and bumblebees dynamically gather anemophilous corn pollen, though it is of little value to them.

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