|Many plants rely on insects or other animals for flower pollination. Flowers are brightly colored and conspicuous in order to attract pollinators, and therefore plants that rely on wind instead of animals to disperse their pollen usually have much smaller, less elaborate blooms.|
Flowers from both temperate and tropical regions show an amazing variety of colors, forms, and sizes, all designed to be as attractive as possible to pollinating insects. Photos by Maya Walters.
|Flowers that are pollinated by insects are usually brightly colored and odorous, two characteristics that advertise their presence to pollinators. The insects are not interested in the act of carrying pollen from plant to plant, but they are attracted by the nectar inside the flowers. In the process of feeding on the nectar, the insects pick up sticky pollen grains from the flower, and also deposit pollen grains from other flowers. This pollination service is so important to the plants that they spend great amounts of energy producing quantities of the sweet nectar, which is of no use to them, and serves only to attract the insects.|
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