One of the brief respites from the nonstop rain here in Missouri coincided with my day off yesterday. So I took time to take photos of the blooms in the garden.
The ever elegant iris, the loyal columbine and of course the lovely peony.
As usual, the peonies had ants crawling all over the blooms. They seem to particularly favor the unopened buds. Every year when I want a bouquet for the house, I have to shake the ants off.
It always struck me as odd, almost nonsensical that such a beautiful flower and ants would go hand in hand.
But even with the ants on them, peonies are such lovely flowers. I snapped several shots and then spotted this ant smack in the middle of a bloom!
So what’s with ants and peonies?
- Are they pollinators?
- Did peonies have a sweet smell. Roses are sweet smelling yet ants don’t bombard them as they do peonies.
- Was there a chemical or substance the peonies produced that the ants need?
- or vice versa?
Unfortunately the jury is still out on that. Some experts say peonies produce a small amount of nectar which attract ants which in turn help the buds open. Other experts disagreed.
Everyone agrees that the ants don’t harm the peonies though. They are just a bit of a nuisance.