ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Flower power in motion

If you're thinking of buying flowers for mom this Sunday, beware of nature's seductive marketing. A new linkurl:study;http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01543.x published on-line this week in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology shows that flowers flutter in the wind to be attractive. But this floral advertising is not aimed at mother-loving children. Instead, researchers in the UK suggest, flower "waving" is a hitherto unrecognized way that plants entice insect pol

Elie Dolgin
If you're thinking of buying flowers for mom this Sunday, beware of nature's seductive marketing. A new linkurl:study;http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01543.x published on-line this week in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology shows that flowers flutter in the wind to be attractive. But this floral advertising is not aimed at mother-loving children. Instead, researchers in the UK suggest, flower "waving" is a hitherto unrecognized way that plants entice insect pollinators. linkurl:John Warren,;http://users.aber.ac.uk/jhw/ a plant ecologist at Aberystwyth University in Wales, remembers lying on a beach at his daughter's birthday party watching flowers blowing in the wind, when something about the flowers struck him as strange. "If they live in such a windy place, why on earth would they have such long stalks?" he wondered. After the party, he probed the plant literature and realized that while almost every flower feature -- from spectacular color displays to aromatic scents -- is thought to have evolved...
Silene maritimeThe Scientist

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT