Hwy S-2 (Part 1)
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   Hwy S-2 Part II     Coyote Creek 1     Coyote Creek 2     Coyote Creek 3     Coyote Creek 4     Coyote Creek 5     Desert Wildflower Index 
   Highway S-2: Scissors Crossing To Ocotillo (Part I)      Highway S-2 Part II  
© W.P. Armstrong 5 May 2010
Campanulaceae: Nemacladus spp. (Threadstem)

Minute Beautiful Wildflowers That Are Difficult To Photograph

  1. Nemacladus longiflorus var. breviflorus
  2. Nemacladus glanduliferus
  1. Nemacladus tenuis var. tenuis          
  2. Nemacladus rubescens

1. Campanulaceae: Nemacladus longiflorus var. breviflorus

Photographed with Nikon D-90 & 60 mm Micro-Nikkor AF-S F 2.8G ED Macro Lens with Phoenix Ring Flash.


Magnified view of gynoecium and androecium of Nemacladus longiflorus var. breviflorus. Image taken with Bausch & Lomb Stereomicroscope and Sony W-300 camera. Magnification 25x.


2. Campanulaceae: Nemacladus glanduliferus

Images taken with Sony T-9 (hand-held with built-in flash).


3. Campanulaceae: Nemacladus tenuis var. tenuis

Images taken with Sony T-9 (hand-held with built-in flash).

Image taken with Bausch & Lomb Stereomicroscope and Sony W-300. Magnification 17x.

Photographed with Nikon D-90 & 60 mm Micro-Nikkor AF-S F 2.8G ED Macro Lens with Phoenix Ring Flash.


4. Campanulaceae: Nemacladus rubescens

Photographed with Nikon D-90 & 60 mm Micro-Nikkor AF-S F 2.8G ED Macro Lens with Phoenix Ring Flash.

Magnified view of translucent, glistening cells attached at base of filaments on upper side of gynoecium. The function of these cells is unknown at this time (see below). Magnification 60x. Image taken with Bausch & Lomb Stereomicroscope and Sony W-300.

Explanation For Glistening Cells Of Nemacladus
According to Peter K. Endress (Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers, Cambridge University Press, 1994), some flowers display glistening bodies to attract insects. They are interpreted as mimicking nectar drops. They are best known in the temperate genus Parnassia (Saxafragaceae), where they have been termed "pseudonactaries." Similar structures also occur in genera of tropical and subtropical regions, such as Solanum (Solanaceae), Lopezia (Onagraceae) and Nemacladus (Campanulaceae). They are completely dry, and there is no sign of secretory activity; however, they are often situated near the real nectaries, which are in a more hidden position. Pollinators may be led to the nectar source by these pseudonectaries. "The gadgets of Nemacladus are bizarre. Two stamens have a protruding socket at the filament base. Each socket bears three or more reflexed clavate giant cells, which cause the glistening effect."

Aaron Schusteff (personal communication, 2012) photographed insects from three different families (two bee flies and a wasp) on three different species of Nemacladus. See thumbnail images at the following link: Schusteff Images. Two of the visitors (the bee fly Lepidanthrax and a chalcid wasp) were apparently taking nectar. A second bee fly (Mythicomya) spent most of its time probing the anthers and stigma of N. rubescens. According to Schusteff: "It seems plausible to me that they all may have been attracted by glistening of the rods...simulating well-charged nectaries."

  See Nemacladus rubescens in Henderson Canyon  


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