Fabaceae

 Dillwynia cinerascens

Dillwynia cinerascens

Dillwynia cinerascens is commonly known as Grey Parrot Pea. This is another plant from that group loosely referred to as 'Egg and Bacon' due to its striking colouration. Like other peas, the flower has the reproductive organs concealed in a keel made up of the two lower petals. The pollen-bearing structures are exposed and touch the underside of the pollinating insect when it lands on the flower. In this particular species the showiness is enhanced by many individual flowers crowding tips of branches. Native bees are presumes pollinators but have not been observed frequently on the bloomong bushes.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy

Dillwynia sericea

Dillwynia sericea

Dillwynia sericea is commonly known as the Showy Parrot-pea.The apricot coloured flowers appear in small groups from September to December.

The pollen of many local pea flowers is carried by native bees but other insects are seen on pea flowers as well. When landing on the flower, the insect depresses the lower petals which form a keel and thus exposes the reproductive organs. In this way, the pollen is picked up by the underside of the insect and carried to the next flower. If a very small, light insect visits the flower, it could get to the nectar without opening the lower keel and thus simply 'rob' the nectar.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy

Hardenbergia violacea

Hardenbergia violacea

Hardenbergia violacea is commonly known as Purple Coral-pea and False Sarsaparilla. This plant is a twiner with wiry braches. The violet flowers appear in clusters in August to November. The peas form in flat 4mm long pods.

Like other peas (see D.sericea), the flower has the reproductive organs concealed in a keel made up of the two lower petals. The pollen-bearing structures are exposed and touch the underside of the pollinating insect when it lands on the flower.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy

Hovea linearis

Hovea linearis is also known as Hovea heterophylla or more commonly as Common Hovea. The yellow spot in the centre of the flower is likely to serve as a nectar guide and aid in 'correct' positioning of the landing, insect pollinator.

Like typical pea flowers, Hovea flowers depend on the visiting insects being of the right weight to depress the flower keel and expose the reproductive parts. The exposed pollen-bearing structures brushes against the underside of the insect . If the flower's female part is receptive, it might pick up pollen from an earlier plant visited by the insect. Alternatively, the insect may get a belly covered in pollen and achieve pollination on its subsequent visits to flowers of the same species. If the insect is too light or does not land in the right spot it may rob the plants of nectar without achieving pollination.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy

Daviesia ulicifolia

Daviesia ulicifolia is commonly known as the Gorse Bitter Pea and is also often referred to as Egg and Bacon due to its distinctive yellow/orange/red colouration. Native bees are often seen around bushes in full bloom. Daviesia has a typical pea flower that's operation depends on the visiting insect depressing the flower keel to expose the reproductive parts.

Pollen images

Electron microscopy