Catasetum Ejecting Pollinia

Click on the photo to see the video

The Catasetum orchids are a subject of great interest due to their hair-trigger release mechanism that launches a pollen sac onto the unsuspecting pollinator. We have brought plants from our collection to MIT for high speed videography and this resulted in an article in the scientific journal Plant Signaling and Behavior. The above photograph shows Catasetum expansum having released a pollinium onto a fingernail. Click on the photo to see the high speed video that we took of Catasetum fimbriatum at MIT.