Bright colored flowers make our gardens bright and beautiful. But why do plants have bright colored flowers? What is the flower color significance? A lot of it has to do with the process of flower pollination.
Pollination is an important part of a plant’s life cycle. Before flowers can produce, they must be pollinated. Without flower pollination, most plants could not produce fruit or set seeds. Bees are the best-known pollinators, making their presence in the garden extremely important.
Honeybees carry out more pollination than any other insect, which includes ants, beetles, butterflies, and moths. Nearly eighty percent of all crop pollination comes from honeybees.
Birds, especially hummingbirds, are also responsible for flower pollination as are small mammals, such as bats.
Roughly seventy-five percent of all flowering plants require the help of pollinators to move pollen from plant to plant. This process occurs when pollen, produced in the plant’s male reproductive organ (stamen), is exposed to the pistil found within the female’s reproductive part. Once pollination takes place, seeds begin to develop.
The process of flower pollination begins when an insect, such as a bee, in search for food settles on a flower. The bee on a flower sips nectar from it while pollen sticks to its body. As the bee flies off in search for more food, it settles on a new flower, and in the process, pollen from the last flower rubs off onto the new one. With each landing of a bee on a flower, pollination occurs.
Plants have a number of different means to attract pollinators, with bright, showy colors being one of the most common ways to maximize their visual effect. Flowers, in essence, are attention getters. They are like advertisement signs for pollinators. In order for plants to entice pollinators, they must first offer their favorite foods: nectar and protein. Since most pollinators fly, the colors of a flower must attract them; therefore, the brighter the flower, the more likely it will be visited.
Flower color significance also depends on the specific pollinator. For instance, bees are attracted to bright blue and violet colors. Hummingbirds prefer red, pink, fuchsia or purple flowers. Butterflies enjoy bright colors such as yellow, orange, pink and red.
Night-blooming flowers take advantage of pollinators active at night, like moths and bats. Since they don’t see colors, these flowers are not as colorful. Instead, the flower’s fragrance attracts these pollinators.
If you’ve ever pondered the question of why flowers have bright-colored flowers, it’s simply a means of attracting much needed pollinators for flower pollination to occur.
Just like eye or hair color in humans and animals, the genetic make-up of the flower determines the color of its petals. Color selection comes from the purpose of the bloom and its operations. Flowers are the reproductive repository of the plant, and their effectiveness controls the survival of the species.
When insects and animals pollinate a plant, it generally has to have bright flowers that will attract the attention of bees and birds, while plants that self-pollinate most often have duller, less showy blooms. Plants with flowers of different colors, or plants with multi colored flowers, usually require visits from pollinating insects.
Hummingbirds are the primary non-insect pollinators of flowering plants, with their own special flower-based cues. Since birds don't respond to olfactory signals, flowers that rely on hummingbird pollination have developed bright red or orange flowers with lots of nectar inside. Sometimes, these flowers hang upside down from the plant, but even those that are more erect are designed to allow the bird to feed in flight, with long, tubular flowers.
Kristi Waterworth started her writing career in 1995 as a journalist for a local newspaper. From there, her meandering career path led to a 9 1/2 year stint in the real estate industry. Since 2010, she's written on a wide range of personal finance topics. Waterworth received a Bachelor of Arts in American history from Columbia College.
These green goddesses are a glorious addition to any garden.
The great outdoors is brimming with shades of green—from the deep green needles of pine trees to a field of Kelly green grass, as well as every green in between on shrubs and other plants. Look closely among this sea of greens, and you'll also find natural green flowers that pack a ton of visual punch to your garden and bouquets.
Some green flowers are by nature showstoppers, like heavenly 'Limelight' hydrangea bloom, chartreuse gladiolus, and 'Green ball' dianthus, with its fuzzy lime-colored spheres. Other green flowers are more quietly camouflaged into the landscape, like delicate downward-facing hellebores (Lenten roses) and lady's mantle, a favorite choice for flower borders.
Although nature's greens range from barely-there to forest green, green flowers tend to fall on the lighter and brighter side (think springy hues and bold chartreuse). Whatever shade, green flowers carry special meanings including renewal, good fortune, youth, and optimism. Plus, there's just something fresh and unexpected about a simple bouquet of naturally green flowers.
Don't have a green thumb? No problem! There are several low-maintenance annual flowers, perennial flowers and plants, and flowering shrubs ideal for gardens and containers. Before planting these 20 green flowers, check your hardiness and heat zone suggestions for maximum success. Your neighbors will be green with envy!
Don’t forget that vegetables add color too! When you’re growing vegetables your first thought probably isn’t about which colors look best, but you can make a conscious effort to combine the best looking vegetables to create a dramatic effect in your yard.
Grow the best tomatoes with these tips for growing tomatoes.
Everyone can grow zucchini! We always have extras for family, friends and neighbors. And when we gave to everyone, we freeze some for later.
While color needs to play a major role when choosing flowers that can help sell your home it’s not the only factor you need to consider. The last thing you want is to plant finicky flowers that will die before your home is sold so be sure to consult your local landscaper or nursery to find flowers that will flourish in your climate.
Since all plants have different sun and drainage needs, it’s a good idea to take morning, midday and late afternoon photos of your intended flowerbeds to show your gardening expert.
You’ll also want to ask them about which flowers are the most hearty, low-maintenance and fast-growing. That way your flowers will lose that “just planted” look more quickly and will continue to flower throughout your home sale.
Even if you’re listing in a hot seller’s market, your home won’t sell if your front yard isn’t on point. Luckily, color theory, color psychology and the right hue of vibrant flowers to complement your home’s exterior color will help you “package” your home’s curb appeal like an advertising pro.
Article Image Source: (Louis Lo/ Unsplash)
Former art and design instructor Christine Bartsch holds an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University. Launching her writing career in 2007, Christine has crafted interior design content for companies including USA Today and Houzz.