Red and orange are unusual colors to see on the leaves of plants; it is much more common to see these colors on flowers. For plants that rely on animal pollination, colors can help direct the pollinators to the flowers. It’s like installing a giant billboard with bright lights to help bees, birds, and other insects find the nectar and pollen inside the flower!
Because different animals see color in different ways, a flower’s color may give clues to what kind of animals pollinate it. Flowers that are pollinated by birds are more likely to be red, fuchsia, pink, or purple.
Bees are more likely to be attracted to bright blue, pink, or purple flowers. But butterflies are most likely to visit flowers that are yellow, orange, pink, or red.
Night-blooming flowers (like some types of jasmine) will help advertise to bats and moths with bright white or yellow flowers that stand out in the darkness.
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of nature. We inspire, educate and provoke exploration through innovative programs and experiences in one of the nation’s largest and finest historic conservatories.