Bucknell University Biology Professor Chris Martine and his mentor David Symon have discovered a species of wild eggplant in Australia’s Lost City which pretends to be male. The eggplant was found to trick bees into pollination by pretending to be male and producing pollen which are known to attract bees.
These fake pollens do not however benefit the bees in anyway. The new plant has been named Solanum cowiei in honour of botanist Ian Cowie who showed the plant to Martine. The Solanum genus includes plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and nightshade. What’s distinct about Solanum cowiei is that it can adapt to fires.
Martine and his colleagues are now studying the possible after effects of these pollens on bees and how different it is from other pollens.