Native to Brazil, though cultivated in many countries, Neomarica caerulea has branching flower stems carrying a succession of spectacular blue blossoms with centers intricately banded in yellow, white, and brown.
These beautiful flowers belong to the species Geissorhiza splendidissima (Asparagales - Iridaceae), a deciduous geophyte with brilliant dark purple-blue flowers, endemic to the Nieuwoudtville area in Northern Cape, South Africa, and locally known as the Blue pride of Nieuwoudtville.
Lapeirousia oreogena flowers guide their pollinator to find the way
Although it seems incredible (as often Evolution is), in the flowers of the South African species, Lapeirousia oreogena (Iridaceae), the clearly visible pattern of six white arrow-markings pointing towards the narrow entrance of the long corolla tube, are visual markings that guide its sole pollinator, a long-proboscid nemestrinid fly, towards a concealed nectar reward.
A study focused on the role of the nectar guides in this species, showed that although the arrow-marking removal has little effect on the approaches by flies to flowers from a distance, it dramatically reduces the likelihood of proboscis insertion.