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Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants

Lack of Brightly Coloured Flowers

Lack of Brightly Coloured Flowers

On islands like Hawaiʻi an unusually high proportion of the native plants have small, shallow flowers which lack bright colours and are pollinated by wind or unspecialised short tongued insects. The exceptions are certain bird-pollinated species which have larger red to yellow flowers of tubular form.

The general lack of brightly coloured flowers is attributable to the absence from isolated islands of the more specialised insect pollinators, particularly long tongued bees, which are attracted by bright colours and pleasant perfumes.