Peony Bud & Ants

I thought I was capturing the wonderful nature story of ants helping a peony bud open. Alas, looking it up I learned this wonderful piece of folklore is untrue. Peonies do not in fact need ants to break open. It still seems as though they have a symbiotic relationship, the peonies feed the ants with nectar, and the ants keep other insects at bay. They only drink the nectar and to not dig into the plant like other insects might. They do seem focused around the bud’s seams, but this might simply be because that’s where there’s the most nectar.

On this close up you can see the nectar droplets on the seam.