University of Florida

How Plants Communicate with Insects

Flowers are beautiful to look at and often, wonderfully perfumed. But plants don't make flowers for us—they make them for insects. Many plants require pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds and even thrips to carry pollen from one plant to another for propagation. The way a flower smells, looks, and even when it blossoms is designed to attract a pollinator. Of course, what insects find attractive isn't always pleasant to humans; some plants give off foul odors to attract insects. And some plants, like the Venus Fly Trap, lure insects not for propagation, but to eat them.

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