Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ferraria and flies

Up on Lion's Head this morning I saw this Ferraria crispa flower - also known as the Spider Iris. Its odd shaped, brown, mottled petals are adapted to look like flesh as the main pollinators are various types of fly - inlcuding Flesh Flies (Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis) that lay their eggs in rotting flesh and faeces. It smelled a bit like vanilla. The flowers are about 3 cm across and the whole plant about 20 cm high.
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  1. Bravo! After your description, the last thing I would have done is smell it!!!
    Jane x

  2. yucky, in a FASCINATING sort of way.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. I like to have this flower. It looks like orchid to me.

    ABC Wed

  4. We saw that in the West Coast Park. Definitely eye catching in an orchid sort of way. There it was blowing so hard, I never thought to try and smell it!

  5. Its actually a member of the Iridaceae (iris) family. whenever I ask a botanist for help with identifying a plant, they always ask "What did it smell like?" so now I tend to try and smell them too!

  6. Looks very much like a carrion flower.

    For some reason my gmail Blogger accound doesn't allow me to comment. Strange.