Field of Science

Rainforest Field Trip - Friday Fabulous Flower - Angelic Orchid

You would think nothing could be easier than finding a candidate for the Friday fabulous flower when you're in the rain forest, but the actual fact is that a lot of flowers are pretty small although interesting in their own right. Big and gaudy is rather unusual, but a few flowers do make a pretty good impact on their own. Another thing about rain forests is that the only bright place is on top of the canopy, and this particular primate doesn't do high well, although it is actually the sudden descent and abrupt stop that worries the Phactor, so some flowers have a display well adapted to the dim light of the forest understory. Here is an angelic orchid (Epidendrum eburneum) that seems to be whiter than white. The plants do not produce many flowers and they last many days unless pollinated where upon they wilt almost immediately. The actual pollinator is unknown to me, perhaps a hawkmoth, which means is might operate in the very dim light of dawn and dusk, or even those nights when there is a bit of moonlight, otherwise it's very, very dark out there.

No comments: