Colchicaceae

Burchardia umbellata

Burchardia umbellata

Burchardia umbellata are commonly known as Milkmaids so called perhaps because of the rosy red hue of their white petals. Milkmaids flower from September to October. The flowers appear at the top of the stems, clear white with a touch of pink.

Milkmaids are closely related to Early Nancy (Wurmbea dioica). The similarity in pollen bears this out. Both species have recently been placed in a new family, Colchicaceae. The major pollinating agent is unknown.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy

Wurmbea dioicaWurmbea dioica

Wurmbea dioica is commonly known as Early Nancy. The species has male and female plants as separate individuals, an expensive option but one that ensures cross-pollination. The photo shows a male plant with six pollen bearing stamens whose pollen is easily brushed on visiting insects. Just which insects do the main share of pollination is not known.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy

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