A close-up view of Gnidia pinifolia flowers discloses some of the wonders of marketing by flowering plants that takes place in their elaborate multispecies social system, so painstakingly devised over the aeons. Close to the bone in a boneless world!
Four orange-brown anthers, oblong and minute, can be seen spreading on top of everything else in the mouth of each flower, ready to donate pollen into the distribution system. Some of these anthers have already been mutilated by visiting insects, but no worries, the petal scales present a sturdy landing patch, while the flowers live with the fact that some collectors are greedier than others.
Each flower conceals a second whorl of shorter anthers inside its corolla tube, precisely for the purpose of waylaying those physical, down the tube type visitors seeking nectar in ostentatious violation of the hostess in the floral temple.
Four cream coloured, petal-like scales, pointed and hairy, spread widely behind the anthers. Then the four white petal lobes behind the scales are still longer and wider, ending in rounded tips. All together it makes for an intricate flower, yet small.
There seem to be quite a few more than ten flowers in this stem tip cluster, the usual number; or maybe we’re looking at two clusters here, positioned closely together (Manning, 2007; Bean and Johns, 2005).