Nectaries are small glands that secrete nectar in plants. However to complicate things there is an additional place where these glands are located. When the glands are located outside the flower they are referred to extra-floral nectaries. Some scientists think the extra-floral nectaries provide an enticement to insects to help protect against other insects. The nectaries can be hairy or not and in many different shapes.

After examining a multitude of plants, the Partridge Pea’s extra-floral nectaries was certainly one of the easiest to see without a loupe.
Here is a closeup of the extra-floral nectary. It just looks like a bump on the stem. Additionally this one seems to have a blob of nectar!
The Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) is another plant that has the extra-floral nectaries. My Elderberry has already dropped its flowers.
I found these rather tall ones (relatively speaking) on one of the Elderberry plants.

A tiny black ant had a sip!
Snailseed has a rather hairy extra-floral nectary.

The extra-floral nectaries are not just on the stems or at nodes. The wild plums (Prunus) has them on the leaf margins and petioles. Other plants may have them on stipules, floral bracts, or sepals to mention some locations.

There are many species of plants that have the extra-floral nectaries. Indeed you might want to find them on your plants. I certainly will be looking too!

Something new for me to learn all the time, eh!

Nectar: Properties, Floral Aspects, and Speculations on Origin

Extrafloral Nectaries

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


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