En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - August 06, 2007

From: Homestead, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pollinators
Title: Pollinator for Hymenocallis palmeri
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Okay, Ms. Smarty Plants, let's see if I can stump you. I feel blessed to have seen an alligator lily (Hymenocallis palmeri) in the Everglades, while doing photopoints with my boss. Please tell me what pollinates these lovely flowers, and how they pollinate them. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Hymenocallis palmeri (syn = H. humilis) is pollinated by hawkmoths. To accomplish the feat, hawkmoths fly up to the flower during the evening hours, hover much like a hummingbird (they're also known as hummingbird moths), and uncurl and insert an exceedingly long proboscis deep into the flower. In the process of sipping nectar, flower pollen is transferred to the moth which it will then deposit while visiting another alligator lily flower. For an excellent discussion of the process please see this article in the quarterly newsletter of the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden.
 

More Pollinators Questions

Effect on taste of honey from pollen gathered by honeybees in Appleton WI
March 09, 2014 - in the flower box.. We are planting perennial or self-planting annuals on our fields and open areas to feed honey bees for our apiary. We found a source and then lost it telling what effect these wil...
view the full question and answer

Getting milkweed seeds into seed mixes from Milwaukee WI
February 07, 2014 - My husband and I are concerned about the Monarch butterfly migration and have started an effort to get milkweed planted along some bike trails here in Wisconsin. This made me think of Ladybird Johnso...
view the full question and answer

When may I remove seed heads from yuccas?
June 07, 2010 - Soft tip yuccas dominate my home's landscape. When is the best time to remove the heavy seed heads after flowering? In addition to being difficult to work around, the pods seem to attract infestatio...
view the full question and answer

Pollinator to Arkansas yucca from Arlington TX
May 15, 2012 - Thank you Barbara for your answer. However, my Arkansas yuccas bloom every year, but do not set seed. I am asking for the name of the moth that pollinates them, or other native plants that serve as ...
view the full question and answer

Cultivars off native plants attracting pollinators from Fairfax VA
March 25, 2011 - When trying to create a native garden/habitat- should you avoid using cultivars of the native plant? Nurseries around us keep trying to tell us that using a cultivar of the native plant we actually wa...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center