• Ultraviolet Photography

UVF Pitcher Plant flower

3 replies to this topic

#1 Adrian


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Posted 01 May 2020 - 11:07

I grow a number of carnivorous plants for photography. I usually remove the flowers as they are not particularly interesting, and removing them improves the vigour of the plant. I let this one grow. It is Nepenthes fusca x N. robcantleyi, a highland hybrid. The flower spike is around 7cm in length.

I thought, when I first saw it in UV, that the pollen was fluorescing, but it is in fact the sepals (?) which seem to be fluorescing. Would anyone know any more abut this?

Technical details:
Nikon D810 with 105mm micro Nikkor. UVF light painted with Convoy S2+ UV torch, with U340 filter. 15 seconds @ f/11, 200 ISO.
Attached Image: Nepenthes comp.jpg
Adrian Davies

#2 colinbm


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Posted 01 May 2020 - 11:53

Pretty spectacular Adrian

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 19:03

I looked up Nepenthes to read a bit more about it.

On one website it was mentioned that the flowers are "unspectacular". But we know differently don't we? Under UV light the flower stalk is quite spectacular I would say. :grin:

I have only unknowledgeable speculations as to why the sepals fluoresce. Perhaps because the plant has separate male and female flower stalks, the fluorescence is a kind of signal to pollinators to draw them to the pollen? So why not just have the pollen be fluorescent? It's a mystery.

Googling "Nepenthes fluorescence" brings up many references to other fluorescent parts of the plant which act to attract prey. But I did not have enough time to search further for pollinator attraction.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#4 dabateman

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 12:28

Well then this plant hits a strong argument for pollinators seeing in UV or at least uv induced fluorescence visible to be attracted and eaten by the plant.

Was reading that bees only see blue and contrast. So maybe not the major food for this plant.
What do you feed it?
I think ants might be a good food source and wonder what they see.