Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Ghost Flower

The Ghost Flower (Mohavea confertiflora) is a plant of the family Scrophulariaceae. It is a native of the Americas, growing in arid regions, semidesert conditions, below 1000 m. It flowers March to April.

This flower, which does not produce nectar, has adapted a morphology resembling the flower Mentzelia involucrata, which often grows in the same habitat. Mentzelia involucrata produces nectar to attract female bees of the genus Xeralictus. In areas where their ranges overlap, Mohavea confertifolia attracts the same pollinators to its flowers through floral mimicry: Mohavea flowers contain marks that resemble female Xeralictus, and these marks attract male bees that would otherwise ignore the flowers. The male bees enter the flower hoping to find a female bee, and in doing so pollinate the Mohavea.


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