The images in Ladies First show the staggered pollen presentation favoured by plants experiencing limited pollen deposition vs. pollen removal. Pollen transfer interactions and pollinating efficiency are significant drivers of floral trait evolution. Pollen presentation in flowers can vary in relation to pollinator abundance and efficiency.
Limited studies have generally shown the hermaphrodite flowers of Fritillaria are weakly self-compatible. Also, that the style (female) is often receptive before the anthers (male) dehisce (open), a form of dichogamy. In Fritillaria ariana and all other members of subgenus Rhinopetilium the stamen unfold and lengthen sequentially. It is likely that this form of herkogamy encourages multiple pollinating interactions or extend the time of pollen transfer so reducing pollen-pistil interference, therefore, increasing the pollen outcrossing efficiency. It is also noteworthy that Fritillaria ariana only has one functional nectary, consequently limiting the level of reward to pollinating visitors.
Technical Details: This work is a photo-composite of 3 focus-stacks (56 images), then layer-stacked and digitally hand corrected in Photoshop with a graphic pad and pen.