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Arisaema lichiangense flowers

Arisaema lichiangense flowers

C004/1884

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Arisaema lichiangense flowers, showing the pollination system of this aroid plant. Each flower consists of a leafy spathe (white and pink) from within which grows an elongated spadix (green). The spadix becomes warm due to its internal metabolism, and emits an odour attractive to pollinating insects. The insect travels down the spadix to the bottom of the spathe, where it is temporarily imprisoned in the floral chamber by downward-facing hairs. The plant releases its pollen, then allows the hairs to wither. The pollen-covered insect escapes, enabling it to travel to and pollinate other flowers.

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