Pollinator Habitat, what is that?!? – National Pollinator Week

bouteloua-curtipendula-sideoats-grama

The picture above is my National Pollinator Week photo! Let me explain…

 

As mentioned on our Bamert Seed Company facebook page (direct link to article: https://goo.gl/9WM5GK) “Pollinator Week began in 2007 upon the Senate’s unanimous decision to designate a week of June as ‘National Pollinator Week’. This marked the beginning of advancing awareness of all pollinating species. Pollinating species such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others are vital to our nation’s well-being by pollinating the flowers of plants that produce food, fiber, feed, and fuel.

 

The trend over the last decade has created awareness that implies big, bright flowering plants are the pollinating habitat in which we need to conserve or increase. Big, bright flowering plants do create pollen and do need the be pollinated by insects, BUT all plants create pollen and require pollination.

 

So, I’m going to turn the idea that pollinator habitat is only big, bright flowers on its head.

 

Let’s get started! Does grass requires pollination?? Yes, grass requires pollination? So, does grass create a flower?? Yes, grass creates a flower. The flower may not have big, bright petals, but the flower is there! Assuming we are referring to monecious grass species, the grass flower consists of both male (stamens) and female (pistil) anatomy. Most landscape/ornamental flowering plants are monecious…so when you think big, bright flower, most of them have both male and female anatomy. Hence, the grass flower is functionally identical! The picture I chose for this post shows the plant in full bloom with bright orange stamens producing pollen. All that is lacking in this picture is a pollinator species (bee, butterfly, ant, etc) to pollinate these delicate flowers.

 

In conclusion, true pollinator habitat should be gauged by its ecological function, not by the size of the petals of the flower. The native bees and butterflies need native vegetation to thrive…not big, bright flowers. #GoNative

 

Rhett Kerby

by Rhett K. Kerby, M.S.

 

Picture sourced from: http://djringer.com/photos/v/joe-pool-dam-070811/bouteloua-curtipendula-sideoats-grama.jpg.html