Flower attracts insects by pretending to be a mushroom

Aspidistra elatior flowers blooming half-buried in the earth. Credit: Image courtesy of Kobe University The mysterious flowers of Aspidistra elatior are found on the southern Japanese island of Kuroshima. Until recently, scientists thought that A. elatior has the most unusual pollination ecology among all flowering plants, being pollinated by slugs and amphipods. However, direct observation of their ecosystem has revealed that they are mainly pollinated by fungus gnats, probably thanks to their resemblance to mushrooms. This discovery was made by Project Associate Professor SUETSUGU Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of…

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