Sansevieria in bloom, part 2

badart(z5 Il)June 8, 2004

Taking a closer look at the new found flowers on my Sansevieria I noticed a new detail. At the base of each flower, and in a few spots along the stalk, is a globule of nectar. The taste is oily but sweet, and there is an aroma. I expect this is to attract the attention of some

nocturnal pollinator. A moth? Perhaps a specific moth?

Since it is a night bloomer, and the flowers somewhat obscure, I exposed them to a blacklight to see what the result might be. The anthers glow brilliantly under the blacklight.

Richard

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birdsnestsoup

I believe this is known as "extra floral nectar" & is certainly useful in attracting pollinators. Though this nectar is also produced by leaves in some species. Regarding pollinators, certainly mothe seem to be the obvious choice, though as to which ones thats a trick question. Since the natural habitat of Sansevieria ranges from South Africa right up to North East Africa & Arabia (&India) then there must also be a wide range of moth species. Some Sansevierias have a flower which only opens at soil level & it is belived that ants or even small rodents can pollinate.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 5:10AM
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Mairzy_Dotes(zone 10)

Well, if it is ants, it wouldn't have to be so picky as to only open at the soil level. The ants around here find their way onto & into EVERYWHERE & EVERYTHING where there is any sticky stuff. Ha. They even carry their cows (aphids & mealy bugs) along with them to high up new leaves to REALLY make me mad.
That floral nectar is also on hoya flowers and I imagine others.
Marcy

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 10:41AM
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