Halictus sp.“Sweat Bee” Halictidae on Geranium viscosissimum “Sticky Geranium” Geraniaceae
Drinking Horse Mountain, Bozeman, MT June 3, 2015 Robert Niese
Sticky Geranium, as its name would suggest, is covered in tiny glandular hairs that are quite sticky to the touch. Some have suggested that these sticky glands are capable of capturing and digesting small orgnanisms, making the plant slightly carnivorous. It grows in meadows, Ponderosa Pinelands, and at the edge of sagebrush-steppe habitats throughout the PNW.
Erodium is famous for its fascinating dispersal mechanism. Their fruits are shaped like a stork’s bill (hence the common name) and separate into five seeds with a wirey tip upon maturity. As the seeds dry out, they begin to curl up into a corkscrew-like shape. If they are resting on soil as they begin to dry, this curling process will drive them into the ground. You can watch this self-planting mechanism here or check out the GIF below. It’s really freaking awesome!