It is strange the details that you can completely miss, until someone points them out to you. We planted flowers in the pots on our patio this year, just as we do every year. They add a splash of colour to summer.
We really didn’t notice anything unusual until someone told us to look closer…
Do you see it?
The flowers come in clusters of individual flowers that form a tight circle. Some of the petals are red, and some are pink, but it isn’t random. In each individual flower, the petal that points toward the center of the circle is red, while the rest are pink. And if you step back, the overall effect looks like a much larger flower. I have no idea what the purpose is, but it is fascinating. And to think that I could have gone the whole summer without even realizing it was there.
Go back and look at the first picture again. Do you see it now?
That’s pretty cool. What would be the evolutionary advantage for this feature?
An excellent question. I’m not an evolutionary biologist (in fact I don’t think I even know an evolutionary biologist) but I have two theories. 1) random mutation without any advantage, but without any disadvantage either (it happens…); or 2) it looks like a flower from far away so attracts more pollinators. But honestly, who knows – but it’s cool either way.