Feb. 8, 2022

hairy laurel, Kalmia hirsuta

OK, I admit this isn't a great image. But it's a Kalmia! All those mountain laurel kin are always such a delight to see. You just can't pass them up even at their last stage of blooming. Fortunately, neither can the pollinators. I wonder what it feels like to land on one of these flowers and release the pollen. You would think that getting whacked by spring-loaded stamens would scare them away. But they do keep coming back. In case you don't recall, the anthers here are initially tucked into pockets on the sides of the corolla. This bends the filaments back and creates tension. In the upper left you can see the bumps the pockets make on the outside of the corolla.
Pollinators trigger this trap and get dusted. Then the bees go home and dance about it! Hairy locust grows in sandy, seasonally damp spots in AL, FL, GA, and SC. Wakulla Co FL, 7/8/18. Heath family, Ericaceae.