Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Now what pollinator could resist this fine beard?

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The rest of the flower and a little Darwinism (of the Erasmus variety) follow.

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The freckled IRIS owns a fiercer flame,
And three unjealous husbands wed the dame.

[Iris. 1. 71. Flower de Luce. Three males, one female. Some of the species have a beautifully freckled flower, the large stigma or head of the female covers the three males, counterfeiting a petal with its divisions.]

The stamens can’t be seen in the photographs but the theme of three is evident in the flower with its three falls (the floppy parts) and the three standards (the erect petal-like structures). The striped patterns in the close-up are nectar guides that direct pollinators to the nectar. The beards on the falls give the pollinating bugs something to grab as they scramble into the flower. More details on iris “anatomy” may be found here.

Darwin, E. Canto I. The Botanic Garden. Part II. Containing The Loves of the Plants. 2007. The Echo Library, Teddington, Middlesex, 12.