Lucky Bean, Mucuna holtoni

Both photos by Bob Thomas, San Miguel Village, Toledo District, Belize, May 2004.

First known to us as “lucky beans,” so called by the Maya in San Miguel, these beans bring luck to those who carry them in their pockets or back packs (yes, present in all of ours).  They are Mucuna holtoni (formerly M. argyrophylla).

These vines are pollinated by bats.  Interestingly, bats are able to tell which flowers have been visited by other bats, thus probably don’t have any nectar left, after the pollinating bat reconfigures the flower in a way that the next visiting bat detects the change with its echolocation.  As in other bat pollinated vines, the flowers of this species hang down on long aerial scapes that makes them easily available to the hovering bats.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s