look closely and a small world appears
Introducing hangehange (Geniostoma ligustrifolium) – this small, pale flower may seem all too easy to miss… but not for our native flies, who happen to be very attracted to pale green! Compared to the rest of the world New Zealand has an unusually large proportion of Diptera or ‘true flies’, which means a lot of our plants rely on them for pollination – including hangehange. It keeps its flowers small so that any insects seeking a little nectar will either collect or off-load some pollen in return.
Look out for hangehange’s hairy-lobed, earthy-scented flowers on trailside shrubs… and see if you can spot any of its pollinators!
Story by Ali McDonald
Photo by Phil Garnock-Jones (female flower above, male flowers below)