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Larkspurs: Flowers and Birds

Birds have inspired the names of many flowers.
© BLMIdaho View Large

Open a flower guide, and you may find larkspur, owl’s clover, parrot’s beak, wake-robin, peacock plant, and storksbill. And there’s chickweed, hawkweed, ragged robin, cuckoo flower, and hens-and-chicks. At least one flower packs in two bird names: the dove’s-foot cranesbill. There are still more...

If you ever miss a BirdNote, you can always get the latest episode. Just tell your smart speaker “play the podcast BirdNote.”

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Larkspurs: Flowers and Birds

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[Hummingbird wing sounds]
Birds and flowers share some deep connections. The hummingbirds of the Western Hemisphere and the sunbirds of Africa and Asia are crucial pollinators.
[buzzing wings]
The birds fly from flower to flower, sipping nectar and distributing the pollen that sticks to their bills, thereby helping the plants to reproduce.
[buzzing wings]
Birds have also inspired the names of many flowers. Take the larkspur for example. This flower has a long slender spike at its bottom that curls around under the flower’s base. It looks quite a bit like the lark’s long, spur-like rear toe, which curls under its foot as it perches.
And there are lots of others -- like the owl’s clover, parrot’s beak, wake-robin, peacock plant, and storksbill. Open a flower guide, and you may find chickweed, hawkweed, ragged robin, cuckoo flower, and hens-and-chicks. At least one flower packs in two birds’ names: the dove’s-foot cranesbill.
And then, of course, there’s that exotic, long-stemmed plant you’ll find perched in hotel lobbies and restaurants -- the bird-of-paradise.
Which is quite mute compared to its avian namesake.
[Bird-of-paradise call]
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
If you ever miss a BirdNote, you can always get the latest episode. Just tell your smart speaker: Play the podcast BirdNote. Learn more on our website, BirdNote.org.
                                                             ###
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Bird sounds provided by the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Anna’s Hummingbird wing sounds, ML 6121, recorded by D Allen. Ambient provided by Gordon Hempton: Nature Sound Essentials, Deciduous Forest Morning. Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise, ML 168347, recorded by T Pratt in New Guinea.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote   May 2020        Narrator:  Mary McCann

ID#  flower-01-2020-05-20        flower-01

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