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Plants and Society, 3/e
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Plant Life Cycle: Flowers

Concept Quizzes


The coevolution of flowers and animal pollinators is one of the marvels of nature and can greatly enhance the rate of successful pollinations. Few flowers, however, are so specialized that they can be pollinated by only one type of animal.

Why would extreme specialization between pollinator and flower be at once both an advantage and a drawback?

In many perfect flowers, the stamens and carpels mature at different times. For instance, the anthers of a flower may release pollen while the stigma is still immature and unreceptive, and by the time the stigma is receptive, the anthers have released all of their pollen and are empty.

Why has this strategy evolved?