The brazil nut has an interesting story, even for non-botanists like me.
For starters, it’s a seed, not a nut, but that’s not really important. It grows on large trees with yellow flowers. Although their nectar is sweet, their coiled hoods make it difficult to get to. That is, unless you’re a long-tongued orchid bee.
As the name implies, this particular orchid bee has a penchant for orchids, so you might think that doesn’t really help the Brazil nut tree. But fortunately, there’s the orchid Coryanthes vasquezii that likes to hang around our friend the Brazil nut tree. The male bees are attracted to the orchid’s scent, the female bees follow the males, and females pollinate the Brazil nut tree.
It’s like a dance between three parties that rely on each other to exist. It’s not unique necessarily, but this symbiotic triangle dawned on me as a perfect example for fundraising.
Okay, get to the fundraising part already… (more…)