|Author: ||Otto Stapf,
Harpagophytum grandidieri, Baill.1887
Uncaria grandidieri, Kuntze.
Uncarina didieri, Stapf.
Uncarina dimidiata, Ihlenf. & Straka.
This member of the Pedaliaceae family was given this name by
Otto Stapf in 1895. It's from Madagascar, growing in well-drained soil with
lots of water, when in growth and lots of sun. The caudex will grow to
30 centimetres, the stem reaches 3,5 meters. The flowers are bright
yellow, and it can be reproduced by cuttings as well.
The genera is named for the
Uncarina tribe of Madagascar. The species is named
after the collector: Alfred Grandidier,1836-1921.
I found this informative piece from: Chuck Hanson - Arid Lands Nursery.
An interesting feature of this genus is its pollination strategy.
Although the sexual parts of the flowers are apparently normal, the
anthers never shed pollen. If one tries to pollinate the flowers of an
Uncarina, the usual method of using a small brush to transfer pollen
doesn't work. There are several families of pollen eating beetles.
Beetles are not as skillful fliers as are bees, moths, etc., therefore
they need a good landing platform so they can feed without flying. The
corolla limb of Uncarina is a perfect landing platform. Some even have
nice "runway" markings such as stripes and dark floral tube
markings. Remember that these flowers are oriented horizontally. The
stigma has two lobes, one upright and one hanging down into the tube,
partially blocking ingress. The beetle pushes past this stigma lobe to
get to the anthers. Each anther has a lobe that hangs down into the
floral tube. The beetle begins feeding on this lobe. As it bites into
the lobe a slit pore above the lobe opens and pollen the consistency of
toothpaste is deposited on the head and thorax of the beetle. When the
beetle exits the flower the stigma lobe offers no resistance. As the
beetle enters another flower and pushes past the lower stigma lobe the
upper stigma lobe is moved down on top of the beetle and scrapes the
pollen off. Pollination!