Pamianthe on the wiki

Jim McKenney
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:09:48 PDT
Diana wrote: "and there are such specialized moths with tongues that can reach that far"

I guess we all know the story of the orchid with the sesquipedalian nectary tube. 

But long floral tubes are not necessarily associated with long-tongued pollinators seeking nectar. Consider the case of the big colchicums. The stigma in some of these is nearly a foot away from the ovary; something other than long tongued pollinators is at work there. In the case of the colchicums (and in most crocuses and many other geophytes) the advantage is that the ovary and any seeds which develop are below ground and thus protected from adversities which might destroy the rest of the flower. 

Maybe the long floral tube of Pamianthe is an adaptation to life among flower eating creatures. Once the pollen had grown down to the ovary it would not matter if something ate the rest of the flower. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, now wondering if iguanas live in Pamianthe country..

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