Thursday, May 15, 2008
One of the commoner plants in our local bog is the small evergreen shrub, bog laurel, Kalmia polifolia. It often grows among Labrador Tea, a fellow member of the Ericaceae (Heaths).
It has eye-catching pink flowers, and they contain a surprise, a botanical equivalent to snakes-in-the-peanut-can. The anthers are embedded in notches in the petals, and are held under tension. When a bee or other insect lands on a petal, the anther springs out, dusting the insect with pollen.
Maybe it’s not equivalent to the peanut can snakes. Maybe it’s more like stepping on a rake.