Hildesvini's picture

Foxglove

Observed: 11th June 2011 By: HildesviniHildesvini’s reputation in PlantsHildesvini’s reputation in Plants
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Description:

This weekend I took the opportunity to have a close look at a Foxglove. I wanted to know why the Bees are all over these flowers and what they see in them. I haven't figured out what all of this stuff means yet and so if any expert would like to comment then that would save me some work. Otherwise I thought that you might like to see the pictures. I believe that Foxgloves are quite poisonous and so I don't recommend playing with them like this, you are welcome to take my pictures.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) interacts

Comments

kview's picture

bees

When doing some research on the impact of Himalayan Balsam, I was reading a couple of papers which suggested bees have a preference for pink/purple flowers. I am not entirely sure of the reasoning, but it seems it is widespread with this colouration, Foxglove just one example.

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Blewit Boy's picture

They're nectar rich..............

They're nectar rich presumably, and the dark spots in the corolla direct pollenating insects to where they can find the nectar. Foxgloves do not pose a risk to human health unless ingested. So handling them or dissecting the flower, as you've done, isn't dangerous.

chris

Fenwickfield's picture

good shot's

It is nice to see some good shot's of the flower,also Blewit Boy is right,there only poisonous if ingested but this plant is used for heart problem's,there are a lot of plants that have medicinal uses.

Fenwickfield

Hildesvini's picture

Finger lickin' good.

I am not really worried about the dangers posed I want to understand the structure of the flower. But.. I understand that ingestion can be fatal and fatal is a big word, especially if you have children and so, well, I am a coward and things like that frighten me.

So on to the structure. The hairs on the inside of the flower are guard hairs, to obstruct smaller insects who presumably wouldn't get their back's brushed by the anthers.

The spike in the middle? I suppose that it must be the stigma. Ideally placed to collect pollen from Bees that have just visited another plant.

I am guessing a bit. By tomorrow I will understand all of this. I don't mind if you help me out.