Pollination of Neofinetia falcata

tucker_sp(Z4 MN)August 14, 2011

Each summer, I put my orchids outdoors to take advantage of the light and warmth. Every year, my Neofinetia has at least 2 or 3 flowers pollinated, and I have wondered what could be doing this, since the normal pollinator would not be found in the US. The flowers have a powerful gardenia fragrance at night, and a nectary in the form of a long spur extending from the back of the flower. I'm sure the normal pollinator is a nocturnal moth, attracted by the fragrance and able to use its proboscis to get the nectar from the spur. This morning I watched a red admiral butterfly spend at least half an hour probing the flowers and thought that maybe I have found my pollinator. I also noticed that Polistes wasps are attracted as well. I have not caught either of them with pollen on its face, but if I do, I'll post pictures.

N. falcata flowers

Red Admiral on N. Falcata

Wasp and butterfly coming in for a landing

Developing seed pod

Hope you find this interesting!


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Very cool series of photos
Charles B.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 7:13PM
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    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 8:13PM
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