Many species of flowers display patterns or "guides" on their petals to direct pollinators to the nectar or pollen they possess. Sometimes these patterns are visible to humans, sometimes not. In some flowers, these patterns are visible to humans only under ultraviolet light. This is the case of many of the "sunflower" type flowers.
(Note that "bee guides" have also been called "pollen guides" or "honey guides.")
Besides the guide lines on flower petals, pollinators are also attracted by flower shape, size, scent, and color.
Next time you're looking at flowers, think of the patterns as landing strips!
LINKS:Plant Pollination Strategies US Forest Service (an interesting site to peruse--lots of facts on "Celebrating Wildflowers.")
Flower Adaptations for Pollination, a teacher resource guide by Diane Wang
I'm linking up with my favorite teacher, Ms Jenny Matlock, as we work our way through the alphabet. Please do go visit the other students, for you never know what gems you may find--humor, poignancy, information, visions of far away places, stuff you've never even dreamed of! Check it out HERE. You may even wish to join in yourself! This week our letter is "G."
photos by me © 2009 and 2010