Jan. 16, 2017

fen grass-of-Parnassus, Parnassia glauca

Do you see the ring of bright yellow anthers? No, you don't. These are structures that are part of the pistil. They attract pollinators, but serve no other purpose. Kind of like high heels. The actual anthers are very pale at the center of the image. This was a new flower. The anthers would have soon spread to hang above the fake ones. I picture bees bumbling around on the fake ones, spending time trying to find pollen. All the while they are getting thoroughly dusted by the real ones. I try not to use technical terms, but if anyone wonders, the fake stamens are called stylopodia, meaning a platform that comes from the shaft of the pistil. The bees are getting the shaft. Fen grass-of-Parnassus grows in fens in CT, IA, IL, IN, MA, ME(S), MI, MN, ND, NH(T), NJ, NY(V), OH, PA(E), RI(H), ST, VT, WI, MB, NB, NF, ON, QC, and SK. Ives fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 8/22/10