Meadow Beauty waiting for a buzz

Virginia Meadow Beauty (Rhexia virginica) is growing in thick mats over the Lake Cheston spillway. The flowers have exaggerated, twisted stamens whose bright yellow contrasts with the purple petals. The stamens hold pollen which is gathered by bumblebees using “buzz pollination”. The bees grab the stamens, then vibrate the muscles in their thorax to make a buzz that causes the stamens to release pollen. In this way, the plants keep pollen thieves away, allowing only reliable bumblebees to carry away the cargo. Tomatoes are pollinated in the same way — stand next to a tomato plant and listen to the short zaps as bumblebees work the plants.

Virginia Meadow Beauty

Welcome bumblebees

One thought on “Meadow Beauty waiting for a buzz

  1. Pingback: Bumblebee frenzy | Ramble

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