Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Barberry Slaps Bee

A little "man bites dog" journalism here. The barberries are in bloom, which means a bit of fun can be had triggering the slapping reflex in the stamens. Take a blade of grass or something else very narrow and slip it in between the stigma at the middle of the flower and one of the five stamens. If you tickle the bottom of the stamen (at the base of the filament), the stamen will "slap" your blade of grass.

The logic is that a pollinator visiting the flower will cause the stamen to slap the insect, in the process conveying pollen that the insect will then transport to other flowers.

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