Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rattlesnake Master Pollinator Information

Rattlesnake master /eryngium yuccifolium is frequented by various pollinators. Wasps and flies seem particularly fond of the flowers on very hot humid days.

Though I have seen very few bees and no bumbles on the rattlesnake master in our own garden, others have recorded bumble bees at the rattlesnake master so it may be a need for specific habitat condition for bumbles to utilize eryngium yuccifolium.

Many sites, even reputable gov. an edu. sites, state that rattlesnake master is self pollinating.
While rattlesnake master is self fertile it is also xenogamous displaying temporal dioecism.

Temporal dioecism is, in essence, a flowering sequence which is synchronized so that there is little to no overlap between staminate and pistillate phases of an individual plant.

With the pollen produced by the stamen at times when the stigma is unreceptive on individual plants self pollination is rare without hand pollination or enclosure of the blossom.
Insect pollination therefore must occur to assure seed production and genetic variability with some rare self pollination as a backup.

Educational sites in particular should be more explicit.

This reminded me that I should acquire plants or seeds from more than one source since our garden is rather isolated from other native plant gardens and many insects do not travel far to find other nectar and pollen sources of the same species.

Bees are unique in the propensity of individual bees to keep going from blossom to blossom of the same species seeming to dislike changing to another species until the one they are working runs out. This is what makes them ideal for agricultural pollination.

Click on pictures to enlarge for a better look at the pollinators.


Blogger garden girl said...

Such a cool plant Gloria. Not enough sun for it here, but I sure do enjoy seeing it in gardens.

24/7/11 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Loret said...

I just added this plant to my pollinator garden aquiring it from a plant rescue as a member of the Florida Native Plant Society. Thanks for the interesting info.

30/7/11 10:36 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

garden girl, rattlesnake master really does need plenty of sun or it falls over.

Loret, good luck with the transplant.

18/8/11 7:26 PM  

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