It is now known that weather and the supply of nutrients and pollinators have an impact on the way a flower blooms. Now Diana Pilson of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln says that even insect pests can influence the time a flower blooms. She studied the effect of five seed pests on wild sunflowers ( Helianthus annus ). She found that two early-season pests, the sunflower moth and the sunflower bud moth, inflicted the most damage. As a result, plants that flowered later produced most seeds. Other plants also probably flower at different times to avoid pests, she says ( Oecologia , Vol 122, p72).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.