An Orchid Explosion

The orchid family is full of strange pollination mechanisms. Catasetums have sweet scents, but it’s their incredible trick for gluing pollen to bees which has intrigued scientists from Darwin until now. When a bee touches a hair trigger, the orchid ejects glue and pollen to land on a precise spot on the bee’s back. I’ve read descriptions and seen pictures, but nothing captures it like video. Check out “An Orchid Explosion” below, courtesy of NPR’s ScienceFriday:

Unlike most orchids, Catasetums have separate male and female flowers. This video only shows the pollen process for the male flowers. We can hope for a future NPR video to show the female side of things. Also check out the podcast “The Secret Life Of Orchids,” which has a discussion about this story, the recent Roadkill Orchid story, and an interview with the same South African scientist quoted there.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fragrant Orchids, In the News, Videos

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9 Comments on “An Orchid Explosion”

  1. anna maria Says:

    wow! thats so amazing. i never imagine flowers could have complicated moving parts. thank you for the news story!

  2. Shang Kwan Says:

    A formidable video, I simply smile from watching it. It’s an incredible bit of botany. Thnx for the treat! Large thumb up for this weblog post!

  3. njt Says:

    I read your blog everyday, you have talent in writing, cant wait for more info

  4. skootergrl Says:

    Love it! I had no idea orchids could shoot their pollinia like that. I’ve never grown catasetums but maybe I should try.

  5. dante07hunter Says:

    Remarkable video! What a bizarre orchid!!! thanks for posting it.

  6. Walt Miller Says:

    hi, I must say nice work guys .keep up with your good work.We always look forward to your posts.

  7. dipzyblonde Says:

    Im glad that I found it, Very good post here.

  8. zejeblue Says:

    I am quite interesting in this topic hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts

  9. ronaldsf Says:

    Incredible video! I think it really stretches the imagination that a plant could evolve such a sophisticated setup. What other remarkable inventions of nature are waiting to be studied and understood (and put online on video)? Thanks so much for your blog post.