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Biology

The striking flowers of the bitter aloe are seen from May to June in coastal areas and from July until November in inland regions (6). Both birds and honey-bees play a role in the pollination of the bitter aloe. The orange-reddish flowers attract birds that alight on the flowers or a nearby branch, and probe individual flowers for nectar. In doing so, they cover their head, throat and breast with pollen, before moving to another cluster of flowers or a new plant. While nectar is the chief reward for birds, bees are rewarded by pollen, which they remove from the anthers. By visiting the plant, many birds and bees carry out an essential service for the bitter aloe, but not all visitors are beneficial; the streakyheaded canary (Seriunus gularis) is a destructive forager that stands on top of the flower cluster while it removes flowers in search of nectar (7).

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Source: ARKive

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