[OGD] Re: Butterflies

  • From: Nicholas Plummer <myrmecodia@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: orchids@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 06:35:32 -0800 (PST)

Oliver Sparrow wrote:
> Yes, I was surprised by that, too. Do any butterflies
> anywhere pollinate
> orchids? 

Some of the brightly colored North American Platanthera species are pollinated 
by butterflies.  Platanthera ciliaris, for example, is pollinated by various 
species of swallowtail butterflies.

> I was also surprised by another quote, to the effect that
> only a few orchids
> have dedicated pollinators, the implication being that
> flippertigibbit insects
> promiscuously bumble around, occasionally doing the
> necessary for orchids.

Can't find the link now.  Did the article imply that was the situation in 
nature or in cultivation?  When I put bee-pollinated orchids (e.g. Cattleyas, 
Encyclias, some Dendrobiums) outside in the summer, they're frequently 
pollinated by local bees that promiscuously bumble around (great phrasing, by 
the way).


Nicholas Plummer
Durham, North Carolina, USA


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