Queens of the Carpathian flowers-orchids

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Scientists consider orchids to be the Queens of flowers. Although the Carpathian orchids are not as bright, large and original in shape as their relatives from Equatorial latitudes, but due to their color diversity and their refinement, they can rightfully bear this title. There were orchids in Carpathian several thousand years ago. “Descending” from the vines, they turned into ground plants. In our region, orchids are mainly represented by plants from the cuckoo family.

Scientists refer orchids to higher plants not only for their beauty and variety of forms. These plants in the course of evolution are surprisingly adept at luring insects. Bright color, dashes, dots on the petals, as well as their shape attract to the sweet nectar. Various are the smells of cuckoos-from the subtle aroma of perfume to the stench of rotten meat.

The largest representative of this family in the region are cuckoo shoes. The plant grows up to eighty centimeters in height. The flower itself is bright yellow, with red spots. Its middle petal resembles a Shoe with the toe turned up. In the cuckoo’s Shoe there is a small hole, once in which the insect can not get out for a long time. Floundering, they fall out into the pollen, and when they get out, they fly to the next flower and pollinate it.

Cuckoo flowers live in close cooperation with fungi. Their seeds are very small, with an undeveloped embryo and lack nutrients. For its development and germination, the filaments of the fungus are necessary, which fill the seeds with nutrients. In exchange, the fungus gets carbon.

Delicate orchids are very sensitive to changes in the environment. Therefore, there are few of them left in the Carpathians and they are included in the Red book.

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