Floral Visitors

mark zukaitis mzukaitis@msn.com
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 05:24:19 PDT
Hi Martin,
How interesting that the bumblebees have learned a new strategy to get food.  Interesting that they figured out how to eat their way through the corollas.  I have never seen Digitalis lutea in the USA, but in Rome I saw it for the first time and really liked it.  There was another Digitalis whose name I can't remember that I have only seen there too.
Could you hand pollinate the Mirabilis to make sure you get some seeds?  It would be a shame for you to have to do without them!
> Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2015 11:05:16 +0200
> From: garak@code-garak.de
> To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Floral Visitors
> Hi Travis.
> wonderful pictures and very precise observations here, a pleasure to 
> read. I'm always a bit jealous on your hummingbirds, since there are 
> none in Europe - closest thing is the Hummingbird Hawkmoth, cute little 
> fellows, which increased in numbers around here in the last 30 years 
> when the climate got notably warmer.
> Unfortunately, I have more of a problem with my floral visitors here in 
> southern Germany: the bumblebees somehow have learned that the easy way 
> to feed on Mirabilis Jalapa is to bite through the side of the tube and 
> directly drink from this short cut - which then again lets the flower 
> wither and most of the time destroys the style, strongly reducing my 
> seed harvest. I've grown Mirabilis J. for at least 20 years, and I've 
> never seen such behavior.  To make it worse, they now expand this 
> knowledge to other plants: I've found side-entries to Digitalis Lutea 
> and Antirrhinum Siculum, looks like any funnel-shaped flower too tight 
> for bumblebees is under attack. This summer was extremely hot and dry, 
> so I hope they're just desperate and return to normal in following 
> years. this, or I'll have to work without my beloved mirabilis.
> Greetings
> Martin
> Am 01.08.2015 um 19:23 schrieb Travis O:
> >   I've uploaded some new photos in a new blog post in my "Floral Visitors" series. Crocosmia and a few Alliums are the featured bulbs (members of the Asteraceae and Lamiaceae, among others, make up the rest). Enjoy:
> >
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