Plant Database forum: Pollen and nectar

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Name: Gabriel
Minneapolis, Minnesota (Zone 5a)
Freezing winters, warm summers
Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Region: Minnesota Enjoys or suffers cold winters
May 13, 2016 3:56 PM CST
The database could use some options that explain what sort of food flowers produce for pollinators. Some flowers produce only pollen (for instance, bloodroot and rue-anemone), others produce both pollen and nectar, and a few (like some double flowers in which stamens are transformed into petal-like structures) don't produce either (and hence are sterile). It would be helpful to provide this information, because it helps explain which insects visit the flowers. Certain insects (for instance, hoverflies) only feed on pollen, some insects only drink nectar (butterflies, cuckoo bees, and bee flies), and others feed on nectar and gather both pollen and nectar (all bees besides cuckoo bees).

The options could just be two checkboxes, one for pollen and one for nectar. But there may be more complexity, for instance in imperfect flowers. Maybe male flowers on some plants only produce pollen, while the female flowers only produce nectar. And perhaps some forms of a species produce both pollen and nectar, while others only produce pollen or produce neither. Does anyone know more about this? I'll look at my book on pollinators and if it says anything.
[Last edited by Cyclaminist - May 13, 2016 4:00 PM (+)]
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