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Does anyone grow plants pollinted by Ensifera ensifera?

Posted by mark4321 9b CA Sunset 17 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 13, 12 at 1:44

Probably I should clarify and ask whether anyone grows plants that would be pollinated by Ensifera ensifera if they were growing in South America.

Ensifera ensifera is apparently called the "sword-billed hummingbird" and is famous for it's 4 inch long bill. See link at the bottom.

It is the only pollinator for a number of flowers in the Andes. I'm not sure if all of the ones I picture below are necessarily pollinated only by Ensifera enaifera, but they share a long floral tube and are from the Andes.

This first picture is not of my plant; the rest are. It's of Passiflora parritae. It's nearly extinct in the wild, and I've read that the explanation is that it's only pollinator is Ensifera ensifera, which has migrated to higher elevations in search of cooler climate, in the wake of global warming.

P. parritae closeup

Here's a photo of the related Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima showing the almost impossibly long floral tube:


I've read that Brugmansia sanguinea is pollinated by Ensifera ensifera:

Brugmansia sanguinea ('Pasachoa

I assume Salvia dombeyi also might fall in this group:

salvia dombeyi Pictures, Images and Photos

And maybe also Fuchsia boliviana Alba (for scale, it's in a 6 inch pot):

Fuchsia boliviana Alba June 6

I've heard that the local humminbirds have figured out that they can get around the situation in some cases by poking a hole in the flower near to where the nectar lies.

Because most of these plants (as well as the hummingbird) are from elevations above 2000 m (6500 ft.) they are restricted as to where they grow, needing cool but (nearly) frost-free climates. The one that I've heard can take some summer heat is F. boliviana Alba.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ensifera ensifera photo/description on Miles Irvine's Passionflower site

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does anyone grow plants pollinted by Ensifera ensifera?

Wow! Beautiful plants! Hummingbirds probaly get all the nectar to themselves since bees probaly can't get into those flowers

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