I always learn something from him and it's usually something very, very cool. This time, it involved another favorite plant of mine, and it wasn't Heuchera.
Pulmonarias are known for their gorgeous, fuzzy spotted foliage, and the early spring blooms of pink-turned-blue. Did you ever wonder why those blooms change color? Why not stay pink?
|Pulmonaria longifolia 'Roy Davidson'|
It turns out that it has to do with attracting pollinators. The color of a plant's blooms attracts specific pollinators - just the right ones for that particular plant. That's not a big surprise, but this changing color thing is.
When the plant is fully primed with pollen, the color of the plant attracts its pollinators. Once pollination has occurred, the plant changes color. The reason? Mother Nature can be very efficient.
|Pulmonaria 'Trevi Fountain', hybridized by Dan Heims|
To discourage pollinators from wasting their time visiting an already-pollinated plant, the bloom changes to a color that the pollinator isn't particularly attracted to. They'll pass this one by.
I find that incredibly, marvelously fascinating.