For a species to be successful, adaptations are a necessary must. They may be morphological or behavioral, but they are necessary. The very classification of C. parviflorum shows that it has made adaptations to its morphology enough to create a new genus and species. On this page, we will explore the different adaptations this orchid has assumed to make it more successful in its habitat.



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Trap Flower

The major change that has made C.parviflorum to be successful is the evolution of the trap flower.  This flower is unique the way it aids in the pollination, the ability to identify the orchid and the overall beauty of the plant. The trap flower is the highly modified petal that is on the front of the flower. At the top of this petal there is a large opening that invites insects down into the flower. At this entrance there is the stigma (female reproductive organ) waiting for pollen to be transferred by the insect. The insect enters this petal, hoping for a sweet treat and ending up trapped by the interior curve of the petal.  After the insect wanders around within this petal, it finds one of two small openings just large enough to slip out. Conveniently located near this exit is the anther (containing pollen, the male reproductive organ). The insect will pick up pollen and deposit it on its next visit to the next flower.


This adaptation is useful because it guarantees the movement of pollen from the plant, increasing the potential for pollination.


Seed Morphology

Another major classification tool for orchids is their very specific seed morphology. Seeds are always small, light weight, broad and usually have a tough seed coat. The surface of the seed coat is rough so the wind (which is the major component in seed dispersal) will catch the seed and blow it further. The broadness of the seed gives wind more surface area to catch, giving the plant a better chance to disperse to a wider range of habitats.