Why Do Flowers Have Different Smells?
How good is that beautiful aroma pouring out of your favourite fresh flowers? The feeling after you order flowers online, have them delivered and immediately bring them up to your face to breathe in the scent is one of a kind. But just how do carnations, roses and other flowers get such different magical smells? The science behind the scent involves evolution, pollination and differentiation. Read on to learn more about it!
Plenty of pollinators
Plants are able to grow because of pollinators such as insects, bats, hummingbirds and even wind. These pollinators transfer pollen from plant to plant, allowing them to reproduce and spread. Flowers have to make themselves attractive in order to draw in these agents of pollination.
Drawing them in
Much like a fabulous floral scent can draw in a human, so, too, can it attract the pollinators. Different pollinators are attracted by different scents. For example, types of flowers that are pollinated by bees tend to have sweeter scents. Flowers that are pollinated by beetles contain aromas that are spicy or fruity. These scents are created by a collection of compounds that the flower emits into the air, alerting pollinators that it is time to get to work. Perhaps the most impressive thing is that no two of these floral scents are exactly the same. Our human noses might not be able to tell the intricate differences between the different scents, but the animals they attract sure can. This keeps plants from cross-pollinating too much. Pollinators follow their senses of smell to the exact location of the pollen on each flower in order to do their job to help flowers continue producing. The scent of a flower acts as a signal that it is ready for its pollen to be transferred to another plant, therefore keeping the beautiful life cycle going smoothly.
The smells associated with different types of flowers have evolved over time along with the animals and insects that pollinate them. This has given the species of flowers we all know and love an optimal chance for survival throughout the centuries, which benefits all of us!
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