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Flower Sleep movements

Petal sleep movements

For those of you who get up early in the morning you might want to take a closer look at daisies. As the evening approaches the petals tend to close in various ways and their full closure is best seen just before sunrise. In the majority of daisy species the petals open and close as in this species. It is thought that closure protects the pollen from rain, dew and fog thereby protecting male fitness. I have also seen insects trapped inside the “flowers” merging only when they have warmed up in the sun. Such species appear to produce some narcotic vapours towards the end of the day making the flower visitors drunk and immobile until the “flower” closes! I say “flowers” because daisy flower heads are actually compact heads of numerous small flowers. The outer “petals” in this flower are single flowers.

The plant just after sunrise.

Inflorescence (flower head) in night position.

Inflorescence beginning to open with sunrise.

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