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Yucca Flowers and Yucca Moths

The relationships between plants and insects are often intricate and complex. One such relationship is that between the yucca plant and the yucca moth. Just as the honeybee and the flowers it pollinates need each other, so do the yucca and the yucca moth.

Female yucca moths have a few days to deposit approximately one hundred eggs. So they fly around, scattering their eggs onto various yucca flowers. A female typically injects about three to five eggs into one yucca flower’s ovary. In the process, she benefits the flower by pollinating it.

Here’s where this relationship gets more complicated though. When the moth’s larvae hatch they feed on about twenty of the yucca flower’s three hundred seeds. However, if too many larvae hatch inside one flower, the plant will abort the flower and the larvae will die. Therefore, it’s to the advantage of the moths to be sure the flowers they deposit their eggs in do not become overloaded with eggs. Thus, the moths have developed communication through scent.

When a female moth lands onto a flower, she uses her antennae to inspect the flower for the scents of previous female visitors. If one or more moths have already deposited eggs in that flower, this visitor will either reduce the number of eggs she lays or move onto another flower. When she does decide to lay her eggs onto a particular flower, she drags her abdomen about the surface of the flower in order to leave her own scent as a warning to future visitors.

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    Flowers are a great way to let someone who is ill, or just feeling blue, know you're thinking of him, even if you can't visit him in person. They're not only a terrific way to brighten up a hospital room, but can ease the loneliness of recovering at home. They are a simple, sincere and unobtrusive way to lift spirits, bring a smile to a tired face or brighten up a room for someone who is under the weather. In fact, they might be just the trick to cheer someone up.

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  • seooffer

    Yucca are widely planted in the western US as a landscape plant. Most species are generally heat and cold tolerant, requiring little care and low water. They offer a dramatic accent to a landscape design.

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  • Jamal

    Yes…. Men

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