Mar. 11, 2019

tall bellflower, Campanulastrum americanum

These one-inch flowers are a favorite. It's nice to see these in summer woodlands when so little else blooms. I wonder if they are taking advantage of the lack of competition for pollinators. They're pollinated by bumble and leaf cutting bees. Among the latter is Megachile campanulae, which is oligolectic. Oligolectic? Turns out that means it dedicates itself to pollinating a single, or very few, species. It's fun to see fantastical new words too. And speaking of fantastical, what could the reason be for that very artful swoop of the pistil here? They're all like that. I have neither a word nor reason for it, but it's more more fun to see. One could speculate that the protandrous pollination syndrome, and sequential hermaphrodism of these flowers probably has something to do with it. And all those mouthful words have me wondering about fantastical minds of scientists. Or the mind of a website poster, sleepless at three in the morning. Or is it four? I think I'll fall back in bed, to spring ahead again at another time. Tall bellflower grows in AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 7/22/10.