Saturday, January 06, 2007


Honey bees may collect pollen from as many as 500 flowers - all of the same species - in a single trip. And the hummingbird hawkmoth has been seen to visit 106 viola flowers in four minutes.

Some plants rely on the wind to carry their pollen from one individual to another, and produce pollen in great quantities to increase the chances of success. Just one catkin, or flower cluster, of a birch tree can produce up to 5.5 million grains of pollen.

A venezuelan orchid, Cynoches chlorochilon, has been known to carry 3.7 million seeds in a single seed pod, which is about the size of a short fat pea pod. There is a real need for this abundance - many of the seeds will die before they germinate.

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