Sunday, July 3, 2011
Mountain laurels instead of rose bushes?
I want that look in my garden. I have two rose bushes which I inherited from the previous owner of the property and I want to replace them. The advantages are obvious to me. Roses are not native; they provide no food for pollinators. Mountain laurel, on the other hand, is pollinated primarily by native bumble bees.
The mountain laurel has a different strategy. The pollen is well protected against rain and wind; but when a pollinator lands on the flower searching for nectar, the weight acts as a trigger, causing the taut stem of the anther to spring. The anther hits the pollinator gently on the back and gives it a dusting of pollen.
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