Orchid Helps Insect Get a Grip– White Egret Orchid Evolved Feather-Like Fringe Petal to Support Pollinator Hawkmoth

The wild orchid Habenaria radiata’s pure white petals resemble a white egret in flight (hence its common name white egret orchid). H. radiata has been loved by people since ancient times, but the adaptive significance of the flower’s characteristic jagged shape has been unclear until now. A multi-institutional research group has been working for three years to solve this mystery by conducting field experiments in which the feather-like fringe was removed, and detailed behavioral observations of the orchid’s pollinators.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story