DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The centre of a flower of the Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. The picture shows the red and black petals of the flower (background), a ring of many blue stamens bearing terminal anthers, and in the centre, the receptacle bearing a series of radial sessile stigmas (star-shaped ridges ). The anthers and the stigmas mature simultaneously; once the flower is pollinated the receptacle develops into a capsule holding large number of seeds.Members of the Papaveraceae family lure insects by the production of copious amounts of pollen, but they do not produce nectar. This, together with the robust structure of the receptacle, suggests that the flower evolved to be pollinated by beetles, although poppy flowers are also visited by bees in search of pollen.
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