Saturday, 11 August 2012

Plant play: Snapdragons

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are hours (well minutes) of fun.  Hold the flower by the sides of the tube and squeeze:
video

There's some interesting botany behind this.  Flowers can be well-adapted for particular pollinators.  But often that doesn't stop other visitors entering the flower and stealing nectar or pollen without effectively pollinating it.  Some flowers have a palate that closes the corolla throat so that only a pretty strong insect can force its way inside.  Snapdragons have this strategy, as do some of their relatives, like ivy-leaved toadflax and Linaria.

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