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Campanula rotundifolia

From mid summer to late fall, harebells bob atop cracks on barren coastal cliffs and ledges. With long rootstocks and agile stems, they excel at withstanding fierce winds and surviving in crumbs of soil. A cordlike style reaches toward the opening of each satiny bell. Most species of flowers offer their pollen to insects from their male anthers. In many Bellflowers, before the flower opens, the pollen instead transfers onto a brush of stiff hairs near the tip of the style that connects the female stigma to the ovary at the base of the bell.1

Bumblebees are frequent visitors to harebells. As they crawl into the bells to reach the nectar, their bodies rub against the style brush and remove pollen grains. Once grains have been removed, the hairs retract into the style and the bell eventually completes its pollen-dispensing phase and transitions to a pollen-receiving phase.2 Arcing the lobes of the stigma at the outer tip of the style back, it takes in pollen from visiting bees, then shrivels and turns a delicate burlap hue. 

Harebell Edited_edited.jpg
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