October Series: Plant Costumes

In honor of Halloween at the end of this month, I’m starting up a new post series for October- Plant Costumes. If you want to read about pumpkins or ghosts and monsters of the plant world, check out last year’s posts. The new series will be all about the disguises plants use to trick herbivores and treat their pollinators. These plants are the costume contest winners when it comes to floral forms that make heterotrophs do a double-take. There are lots of articles on the internet with slideshows of these flowers (alas, many of them never crediting the original photographer; see links below), but I hope to track down the reasons, if they are known, why these costumes are necessary. Surely, they’re not trick-or-treating around the rainforest. Yet, there must be some reason these species put such effort into such elaborate forms.

Psychotria elata

Psychotria elata

Orphys: Bee costumes

Psychostria elata: Hot lips

Corpse flower: The Living Dead

Dracula (Orchids that look like monkeys)

Calceolaria uniflora: Aliens

Caleana major: Flying Duck Orchid

Antirrhinum: Plant Skulls





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