Lupine Pollination

My Lupine plant is in full bloom.  I watched some bees visiting it and saw how the flowers got pollinated.  Check it out.

Here is a closeup of the individual flowers.  Each bloom has a lower portion that almost looks like a seat and an upper portion that looks like a half-donut.  See it?

What happens when a bee lands on the flower?  The lower portion is actually two separate parts.  As you can see above, when I press on it with my finger, the outer portion moves down, leaving a middle piece that looks like it is coated with pollen.  When the bee sits here, the outer portion moves down slightly, allowing the point with pollen to press against the bee’s bottom.

Check out the video below- maybe it will make more sense.  As usual, ignore my kids’ yelling in the background!

  1. That’s what I call paying attention. Excellent post. And thank you.

    You and your kids would enjoy the story about the lupine lady, “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney. Also “The Legend of the Bluebonnet” by Tomie dePaola. Both are great stories about lupines, worth a trip to the library for good summertime reading.
    deb miller (retired first grade teacher) 🙂

  2. Great post! I live in Carmel Valley, CA, and the lupines are fragrant and often incredible in their “coverage” in parts of this county. My daily walks take me up to the old ‘airport’, now almost completely overgrown after being shut down and abandoned around 20 years ago. One section is full of lupines, most years, and yesterday I was wondering about their pollination, as I did not see honeybees around them. I have seen only a few bumblebees. I asked my neighbor, a beekeeper, this morning, and he said the bees will gravitate, like people, to whatever catches their fancy on a given day. Online googling got me to this excellent post. Incidentally, post-er Deb Miller is SO right about the book “Miss Rumphius”. All of our three children loved that book (and remember it well), which is really also an ‘adult’ book, for the life-lessons it has. Last week, I ordered a new copy of that book, which I am going to share with others via our local coffee shop.

    1. Thanks Ron! I saw one of my first bumblebees of the year today on some camas flowers. Hopefully they’ll come back in large numbers later this summer.

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