What Is Nectar?


Quick Answer

Nectar is a secretion produced by plants in glands called "nectaries." Nectaries are most often found within the flowers themselves but are sometimes located on the leaves or stems of the plant. Nectar is high in sugar and forms the base of honey produced by bees.

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Full Answer

Nectar attracts pollinating insects such as honeybees as well as hummingbirds and bats. These creatures pollinate the plants by transferring nectar among different flowers of the same species. Nectar-producing glands that are located outside of the flower are called "extranuptial nectaries" and play no direct part in plant pollination. Instead, they play a defensive role in protecting the plants from herbivores by attracting insects such as stinging wasps and ants.

Nectar is high in sugar and contains small amounts of amino acids, essential oils and proteins. The chemical makeup of nectar varies from plant to plant, however.

In classical mythology, nectar is also used to refer to divine beverages fit only for the gods.

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