Saturday, April 14, 2012
Up Close and Iris
Iris Petal, up close. Note that the lower petal acts as a landing pad for insects looking for nectar within (the perianth). In the process any pollen the insect was carrying is applied to the stigmatic surface (receptive surface) while new pollen is applied to the hapless insect when it backs out. Thus, not only does the insect pollinate the iris, but flower structure is uniquely designed such that the flower is CROSS-pollinated; i.e., fertilized with pollen from a different flower.