Oct. 3, 2018

water avens, Geum rivale

The water avens flower you see here is as open as they get. These shy little drooping things don't look like bee magnets, do they? In fact, they are so good at it they are called magnet species. That's important because some of their neighbors are deceptive species. Those neighbors, orchids among them, may have showier flowers, but they have no nectar. They show off for the bees, but then don't reward them. Studies have shown that pollination rates of deceptive species are much higher when they grow with magnet species. Perhaps the showy orchids are also magnets for the water avens, attracting bees with their finery? Could that be one reason the avens can get away with being so much less decorative? Water avens grows in damp open soil in CO, CT, IL, IN(E), MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, VT, WA(S), WI, WV, WY, in all provinces except YT, and on GL and SPM; also across northern Eurasia. Montmorency Co MI, 5/26/12.