Haslemere Natural History Society

Providing a focus for enthusiastic naturalists of all ages

Plant Adaptions: Flowers and Pollination

Date: 13 November 2021
Indoor Meeting

Professor Mark W. Chase FRS, retired Senior Researcher, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
This was held as a Zoom presentation with 26 members logging on.
Cone-bearing plants first appeared 350 million years ago, whereas flower-bearing plants evolved later at 150 million years ago. There are no intermediates, so it is not known how flowers came to be.
Wind-pollinated plants are always green as insects are not needed for pollination. Primitive flowers (magnolias and waterlilies) have many parts in a spiral arrangement and insects can approach from any direction.
Advanced flowers have few parts, often a definite number. Some have special structures (e.g. snapdragon) to encourage particular insects to visit and pollinate. Orchids can trick insects into visiting them, such as the Asian Slipper Orchid. The British Fly Orchid attracts wasps; a species in Madagascar is pollinated by a moth; and the pollinator of an orchid in Reunion was found by night-vision camera to be a cricket.

Scroll to top
Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner