Story: Evolution of plants and animals

Mt Cook lily and flies

Mt Cook lily and flies

This flower of the Mt Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii) has the open, simple shape typically found in New Zealand flowering plants. Elsewhere, more complex flowers evolved along with specialised insect pollinators. New Zealand’s main pollinators are more generalised – flies, moths and short-tongued bees, which require easy access to flowers. White, bowl-shaped flowers attract as many insects as possible in areas where pollinators are scarce.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10056192
Photograph by Dick Veitch

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Matt McGlone, 'Evolution of plants and animals - Ecological influences', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 May 2022)

Story by Matt McGlone, published 24 Sep 2007