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First flower to attract ground animals with scent found

by webdev

January 06, 2011

New research has discovered how the parasitic flower Cytinus visseri attracts nocturnal ground mammals with its intoxicating scent to pollinate its non-chlorophyll-producing blooms.

The flower, which hails from South Africa, uses the chlorophyll of host plants instead, relying on its powerful scent to attract animals to its petals, which are usually found beneath out-of-the-way bushes. It's the first documented instance of a flower using this method, reports.

According to research compiled by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the flower attracts animals such as the elephant shrew and the field mouse by releasing 3-hexanone, which is desirable to the animals, and 1-hexen-3-one, which on its own would be repulsive to the creatures, yet compounds the attractiveness of the former when used together, the news source reports.

For blooms or bouquets that will attract animals to your garden or outdoor space, opt for perennial flowers such as garden phlox for bats and rabbits, bellflower for rabbits and hummingbirds, clematis for rabbits and deer and butterfly weed for butterflies and hummingbirds, suggests. These also make great flower gifts for friends who are fond of critters.

This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.

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