Blumenbachia insignis

This rather scrappy plant in the Loasaceae family is well worth a close and careful look - it's not called the electric shock plant for nothing!
The flower structure is wonderfully complex and known as a 'tilt-revolver flower'! The white hooded petals, each like a bristled peak cap, contain the fertile stamens. The conical structure at the centre comprises coloured nectar scales and staminodes (sterile stamens). The pollinating bee grips this structure when probing for nectar between the scales. This can force the fertile stamens down onto the bee, and pollen transfer is achieved. The stigma protrudes from the middle of the conical structure when receptive.

The notably twisted structure behind the flower contains the ovary and, as it dries out and creates spring-like tension, the seeds are forcibly ejected and dispersed widely.

The whole plant is covered in hairs, particularly the stems, that deliver a potent 'bite', rather stronger than our stinging nettle, accounting for the common name.

Use this map to position the marker. Click on the position you want on the map, then click the save button above.