Thursday, May 5, 2011

Arizona Saguaro Flowers

The flowers on the cactus in Arizona have evolved to only bloom at night, for one night. The bloom of the flowers is timed almost exactly for the time of the arrival of it's nocturnal pollinators, the bats. At night the bats come for the nectar, and along the way the pollen catches onto the fur of the bat. As the bats go from flower to flower, the plants get pollinated.   Before the sun rises, one of the bathes of flowers die. The next night, the second batch will bloom and die. This goes on for 3 weeks and by the end a single cactus will have 200 or more flowers pollinated. Under the flower grow fruit, the animals like tortoises, birds, and and ants love them because of the fruits sugary, juicy red flesh. The seeds survive in the stomach and in the feces of these organisms. the seed have their own special fertiliser.After the first rain, the seeds begin to germinate.  

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