Ultraviolet Flowers

Hieracium sp. L. (sub. Pilosella)
Hieracium sp.. Visible light
Visible light
(L37C filter)
Hieracium sp. UV light
UV light
(FF , SB-140)
Both images: Nikon D1H , UV-Nikkor 105 mm f/4.5 @800 ISO

© Bjørn Rørslett/NN

The huge genus Hieracium (Hawkweed) comprises a myriad of microspecies, many of which feature beautiful UV patterns. This is a microspecies of the Pilosella subgenus, which has a variegated UV pattern, comprising a patchwork of UV absorbing and reflecting areas of the flower head.

The yellow flower heads are frequently visited by a number of insects, but since these Hawkweed species all are apomictic and able to set seeds without pollination, the need for UV advertising is slightly enigmatic.

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Last Update 6 February, 2005