Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gaura

Long-tongued bee- Wikime
Linda Ellis sent me an interesting article on Gaura (Gaura longifolia), also known as bee-blossom.  It is a native member of the evening primrose family and grows on prairies, glades, fallow fields and disturbed soil.  Its pollinators are particularly interesting, including a few hawk moths as well as long-tongued bees which I didn't know existed.

Long-tongued bees include bumblebees and some species have tongues over a half an inch long.  National Geographic described some species that even collect different fragrances from flowers, concocting their own fragrance which stimulates any males within sniffing distance.

by Linda Ellis
Some flowers have their pollen and nectar deep inside where it can't be reached by the typical butterfly.  Hummingbirds and hawk moths that are capable of hovering flight take advantage of this food source without having to stand in line with the usual pollinators.


Linda's article with some of her beautiful photography as seen on the right can be found at this link.



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