In the life of an everyday plant, interaction with the surrounding ecological environment is a full-time job. And though there are some that believe plants are static beings, they would be sorely mistaken as the life of any plant is usually a busy one.
(Image taken from Google)
Plants must handle hundreds of interactions on a day to day basis, without blinking an eye; the good, the bad, and the ugly (imagine how they would do academically… WOW). I think C. americana would be a valedictorian, just saying.
C. americana has been resilient in her interactions with us, the bellflower team, this summer. I do hope at least that they think of us as “good people”, because they have had to deal with a lot. When they were tied to stakes (“my back feels better”), when they were placed in the back of a car (“where are we going?/”this change of scenery is quite nice”), when they were placed inside of cages (“are you trying to suppress who I am?!/ Is this cage to keep me from going outside… or is it to keep something from getting in?”).
The cages were of course, to keep pollinators out, while at the same time allowing C. americana to continue their usual interactions in the environment. The plants were given the means to be pollinator-interaction free, for eight hours. One group of flowers in the sunlight, and one in the shade. Every 15 minutes temperature and humidity were measured; while at every hour interval, UV and light was measured. At the end of the eight hour period, the flowers were allowed their freedom (“thank you!) and pollen was taken from each set of flowers, and placed into petri dishes with B-K solution to germinate. We hope to determine the affect of UV on the pollen of C. americana, but for that, of course, there are no pollinators allowed.