Sunbird pollination

Glory Lily. With its bright colours and reflexed petals, the glory lily epitomises a tropical flower. This species belongs to the lily family even though its flowers appear turned inside-out and nothing like a lily. The reason for this bizarre shape is to encourage nectar-feeding birds to visit the flowers. In Africa, there are no hummingbirds, so the flowers have evolved perches in the form of the horizontal stamens and pistils. The sunbird lands on these anthers and unwittingly steps on the yellow pollen while sipping the nectar at the base of the petals. The bird then flies off and visits another flower transferring the pollen onto the the female stigma (the three pronged fork on the left).

Name: Glory Lily

Latin: Glorisosa superbum

Family: Liliaceae

Origin: Africa