Pollinating insects get food from plants in the form of nectar and pollen. Flowers benefit when these insects help disperse the plant’s genetic material. To encourage this pollinator/flower relationship, many plants have developed specialized features to attract pollinators. These features become evident when examining flowers under UV light. Some flowers essentially direct insects to their reproductive structures by using reflected UV light during the day or absorbed and reemitted UV light at night. This Florida Master Naturalist project was undertaken in January – February 2019 to examine wildflowers and landscape plants through UV light. This project was undertaken by FMNP Assistant Instructor Mary White and her team of Michelle Dunaway, Bryan Metzger and Sara White. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Florida Master Naturalist final projects are conducted under the oversight of the county agent. They are not peer reviewed. They are a showcase for students to share what they learned as part of their Florida Master Naturalist training. Much thanks to the FMNP team for undertaking this project.