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The Plant Sowed by Ants

In dry, sandy clearings from Florida to Canada on the east coast trailing arbutus, an evergreen plant, blooms in the spring. It is visited by bumblebees, a major pollinator for this plant, Once the flowers are pollinated, seed capsules with a fleshy parts develops. Ants find these grains and carry it to their underground bunker. The fleshy portion of the seeds are fed to their larvae. Then the seeds iare discarded in their underground waste pile where the capsules sprout.

Trailing arbutus is also called the Mayflower. It was the first flower the Pilgrims saw after their first grueling winter. It was a welcomed sight and a sign of the end of winter. Even I look forward to finding this plant each spring.

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