colours

16 July, 2008 at 5:40 pm ()

I’m back at the garden again for the next few days, working again with students from St Barnabas’ Primary School.

We noticed today how different insects seem to favour certain coloured plants – for example, the bumble bees were mostly on purple flowering plants.  On speaking with the head gardener about this I learnt that indeed this was the case.  Different insects are attracted to particular colours, smells, pattern markings as well as flower shapes: beetles seem not to have very discriminating colour vision but are more attracted by odour; flies are attracted to yellow, pink or white colours with sweet fragrances; beeflies and hoverflies pollinate blue to purple flowers; butterflies favour blue-purple, deep pink and yellow flowers with a sweet and pleasant smell; moths, being mostly active at dusk, favour white or pale sweet smelling flowers that are easily locatable in dim light; and finally, bees are red-green colour blind but are attracted to yellow, blue purple and ultraviolet flower colourings.

A photographer came to take some photographs for a newspaper today.  Pointing at some blue flowers, he commented that their colour was “unreal”.  I assured him that was not the case.

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