Saturday, May 2, 2009

Peony Perfume attracts many species

A true sign of spring is the appearance of the first Peony Buds. With these buds usually comes the ever present black ants and many other species, each taking advantage of the irresistible perfume of the peony flower. Today I spotted not only the black ants, but red ants, house flies, ladybugs and paper wasps. All vying for a bud to sample. I read somewhere that the relationship between the peony bud and the black ant is a symbiotic one. The flower buds release a sticky sweet substance that the ants find intoxicating. They come to the buds in droves, seeking this delicious substance. The ants crawl all over the buds which many stimulate them to open. A true working relationship with benefits to both.

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