New Discovery: Azalea Relies on Butterflies For Survival!



It was recently discovered that butterflies play yet another important role! The majestic butterfly has been linked to pollination of the flame azalea.

“In order for a plant to reproduce, a pollinator — usually an insect — has to spread the pollen from the anther to the stigma,” said Mary Jane Epps, a biologist at North Carolina State University and a study author.

Dr. Epps also states that the distance between the anther (male pollen) and the stigma (female germinator) are too far apart for other insects, such as a pollinator bee, “to come into contact with both anther and stigma during a visit.”

And in flies the butterfly! The rapid movement of butterfly wings allows the transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma. Neato!

The findings come from The American Naturalist, a world leading publication on ecology, evolution, and behavior research.

This entry was posted in Announcements, Flowers in the News, pollination and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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