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Peter Bernhardt on Charles Darwin and Plants

Why was Darwin so interested in plants? Why did he write four books about plants after On the Origin of Species? Darwin wrote about pollination as a partnership. The flower gets pollinated and the pollinator gets food. Why do so many orchids “fake out” their pollinators and never offer any reward for services? Isn’t this contrary to Darwin’s theories on natural selection?

Did Darwin study pollination systems in the flowers of other, non-orchid, plants? Darwin once wrote to a friend that the evolution of flowers was an “abominable mystery.” Why was this topic such a mystery in Darwin’s day?
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