Saturday, 19 July 2014

Evening Primrose

I've been watching an Evening Primrose plant in the garden. The flowers for that night open when it starts to get dark (presumably that's how it got it's name) and really glow and stand out in the dim light. It must be pollinated by night feeding insects, which in turn are eaten by the bats, so it must be a good "bat plant".

Each flower has several stamen that are covered in pollen and distinctive cross shaped stigma. Each flower is home to lots of little black beetles.

In the morning the flowers have all started to droop and go over. The beetles seem to stay put for one more day, then the flowers are too wilted for them and they move onto a new flower.

By dusk, the tightly closed flower buds have started to uncurl, ready to pop open when it's dark enough.

And so it goes on. These flowers will last one night and be starting to droop by the morning. It's a good job there are lots of flower buds on the plant. What a beautiful and busy plant!

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