Friday, March 13, 2009

Darwin's Orchid

Angraecum sesquipedale. This orchid, a native of Madegascar, was the one that Darwin saw when he hypothesized that it must be pollinated by a moth with a very long proboscis. The long green nectary in the rear of the flower lures moths in each evening for its sweet nectar stored at the bottom of the nectary. Indeed, a moth was discoverd called the hawk moth also known as Xanthopan morganii praedicta that has a long proboscis and acts as pollinator of this orchid. The white color enables the flower to be seen in dim evening light.

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