WOW-Pollinators!

Posted on 10. Jun, 2014 by in WOW! Blog

What is a Pollinator? Well, first you have to understand about pollination. Pollination is the process involved in fertilizing flowers so they can make seeds and reproduce. All flowering plants produce pollen, which is the male part of reproduction in the flower world. The pollen has to get into the female part of the plant- the ovary- to fertilize the seed. Some pollen spreads in the air and lands on the right part of the plant but most flowers depend on what we call pollinators to spread the pollen into the right flower and the right part of that flower. Pollinators are animals. Mostly insects like bees and butterflies, but hummingbirds can play a role too. Anything that is attracted to the beauty of the flower to drink the nectar is likely to be a pollinator. The bee in the picture is a great example of a pollinator.

You may have heard people talking about Native Plants and wondered what they were talking about and why this is important. Native plants are the plants that naturally occur in a particular area.   One reason it’s important to grow native plants is that plants and pollinators have evolved together. We have native plants and native pollinators. Plants depend on certain insects or other animals, which have the right structures on their body to collect the pollen and carry it on to other plants of the same species. If we have plants in our yard that are non-native they may attract the pollinators but then not spread the pollen effectively.

Next time I’ll talk about some of the threats to our native pollinators and suggest some ways you might be able to help maintain a healthy ecosystem for plants and pollinators.

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