The Passionate Wait

In the second part of the passion flower series events before the opening of the flowers are outlined. Drought conditions in summer of 2011 made extrafloral nectaries of the plant a very busy place. The water budget of the plants is strongest early in the morning. Flowers do not open until the middle of the day. At first, passion flower is generous to the ants in the morning providing ample volume of nectar. On the other hand, pollinators remain hungry. Towards the middle of the day the water budget of the plant starts to strain. Nectar secretion shifts from nectaries at the base of the flower towards the nectaries on leaf stalks. Ant activity becomes less in flowers preventing a conflict with pollinators.



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