This year S. flava was too exhausted to produce any flowers, but S. leucophylla stepped into the breach. And what lovely blooms it had, with deep red petals.
The umbrella-thing is called the style, and at its points are the pollen receptors (or stigmas). The petals fold tightly over the style, preventing the flower from self-pollinating. Bees and other insects crawl under the petals to collect nectar and pollen, and in so doing also get covered with the yellow stuff. On their visit to another flower they deposit the pollen onto the new flower’s sticky stigmas as they enter it.
A month later (and long after the petals have fallen off) the capsule is fat with developing seeds. It will take nine to ten months to ripen and dry out (the wiki says five but I’m happy to wait until it’s really dry).
One of the stigmas (stigmata?) can be clearly seen at the bottom of the style in the picture above.
Of course, if you’re a carnivorous plant you really really don’t want to eat your pollinators — which means you’ll bloom your flowers before the first leaves for the growing year even emerge. Even then, the flower stalks will be always taller than the leaves.
Here’s a leaf:
(No, the lid doesn’t close).
Date: October and November 2010
Camera: Pentax K100D Super
Lens 1: Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED
Ambient light only.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.