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Ivy (Hedera helix) berries

Ivy (Hedera helix) berries

C035/7798

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Credit

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

Caption

Bunches of developing fruits on common ivy (Hedera helix), December, in Norfolk, UK. Visible are many former flower heads, each of which terminates in an umbel of ripening fruits (warm black berries) hanging below groups of umbellate flowers that have failed to produce berries (yellow-brown stalks, terminating in small yellow masses, the unfertilised flowers). Ivy flowers have exposed nectar, and attract a variety of late summer insect pollinators, including butterflies, craneflies and wasps. The terminal umbel reaches maturity and flowers before the other umbels in the panicle (here unfertilised). The picture illustrates the dependence of pollination on the weather. As the first flowers opened, it had been calm with daytime highs of 18 degrees Celsius. A week later, daytime highs averaged 12 degrees Celsius with a fresh northeasterly wind, grounding potential pollinators.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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