Flowers That Pollinate

The only category of plant life that does not propagate through pollination is the fern, which uses spores. All others--annuals, perennials, biennials, shrubs, trees and bulb--are reliant on pollination to reproduce. Pollen is male genetic material. It is transported from the anthers, male genitalia, of a flower, to the stigma, female genitalia, where it passes through to the ovule. This ovule is the female genetic material that becomes a seed after it's combined with pollen. The process of transporting pollen to the stigma differs among species.

Angel's Tears

Angel's tears is the colloquial name for Narcissus triandrus, one of 26 nonhybrid members of the daffodil family. It flourishes in zones 5 through 9. Each bulb has a single flower that hangs from the end of a pale green, fleshy stalk. The bloom has reflexed petals, or petals that angle back toward the stalk, as well as the normal 6 connected petals with smoothed edges that form a cup. This species is reliant on pollinators to pollinate. Pollinators are any fauna, such as bees or hummingbirds, that are attracted to the color of the bloom. They enter the bloom to drink the sweet nectar at its center, and the bloom's pollen adheres to them in the process. When pollinators go to another flower, the pollen might be pushed into the flower's stigma, achieving pollination.

Viper's Bugloss

Viper's bugloss, Echium vulgare, is a biennial species that thrives in rainy environments with average temperatures of approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Each can grow up to 3 feet high. They are commonly used in borders and rock gardens. They have broad, hairy leaves and stems shaped like a tongue and produce multiple spike-like stalks. Around each stalk grows small five-lobed flowers in blue, purple, pink, red or white, depending on the subspecies. They have pronounced anthers and stigmas that extend more than 1 inch further than the petals. This is because this species is reliant on the wind to carry pollen from the flowers of one plant to another.

Autumn Joy

Autumn joy, Sedum aizoon, is a drought-tolerant perennial capable of surviving in zones 3 through 10. They produce multiple 18-inch stems closely packed together with fleshy, toothed leaves. In fall it generates large clusters of pink flowers no larger than ¼ inch in diameter. These flowers turn rust red in late fall and withstand most winters. The blooms are bunched together so tightly that they look similar to a head of cauliflower. This is because autumn joy is prone to self pollination. Pollen from one of its flowers can pass to another flower of the same plant, creating seeds that have the same genetic information as the parent plant.

Keywords: flower pollination, pollinators, self-pollination, cross-pollination

About this Author

John Albers is a 25 year old freelance writer with dual degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology, and a goodly amount of experience in most fields besides. He's successfully published 800 online and printed articles of a technical nature, and fictional works with Bewildering Stories and Mindflights Magazine, though he's currently working on a debut novel.