The resplendent Blue Banded, Teddy Bear, and Carpenter bees are some of the specialised pollinators that visit the nodding flowers of Dianella plants.
Whilst the pollen of many flowers simply sticks to insects that brush past it, Dianella pollen needs to be extracted from its hiding place inside the hollow yellow anthers. Some bees have evolved a technique known as buzz pollination for this purpose: clinging to the anther, the bee vibrates with a loud buzzing sound, shaking the dry pollen out as it does so. Attracting buzz pollinators to the garden could also mean a better crop of tomatoes – research has shown that they could help with large-scale agriculture too.
View the Australian Museum’s short video on buzz pollination:
The genus Dianella is named after the Roman Goddess Diana, ruler of the forest, wild animals and the moon, among other things. South East Queensland has several species — varying in form, colour and growing conditions; they all have strappy leaves, blue (sometimes white) flowers with yellow anthers, and brilliant blue or purple berries.