Letter | Published:

Purple Flowers

Nature volume 68, pages 223224 (09 July 1903) | Download Citation



IT is generally thought that purple flowers are due to selection by bees, and the small number of blue and purple flowers in New Zealand is accounted for by the supposed absence of bees. This, however, is hardly correct, for there are several species of native bees in New Zealand which constantly visit composite flowers. But Pleurophyllum speciosum has very conspicuous purple flowers, although it is found only in Campbell and Auckland Islands, where there are no bees or flower-visiting moths. Nor does it stand alone, for Celmisia vernicosa, and its ally C. chapmani, are the only species of the genus with purple discs, and yet they also are only found in Campbell and Auckland Islands. In C. vernicosa, also, the leaves have become rigid, although no animal feeds upon it.

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  1. Christchurch, New Zealand, May 23.

    • F. W. HUTTON


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