This section is from the book "On British Wild Flowers Considered In Relation To Insects", by John Lubbock. Also available from Amazon: Nature Series On British Wild Flowers Considered In Relation To Insects.
This beautiful order contains three British genera; Narcissus, Galan-thus (the Snowdrop), and Leucoium.
The Snowdrop is probably not a true native of this country, but has long been naturalised in many parts. It is sweet scented, and melliferous; as the flower hangs down, the honey is perfectly protected from rain by the leaves of the perianih. The flower remains open from about ten in the morning till four in the afternoon, when it closes for the night. The pistil is white, except at one part a little above the middle where it is tinged green, a character more marked in the next genus, Leucoium.
We have five British genera of this group; Iris, Gladiolus, Sisyrin-chium, Trichonema, and Crocus.
Iris pseudacorus L. secretes honey. It is fertilised by humble bees, and according to Muller, still more frequently by Rhingia. The flowers are large and showy, the three outer perianth-segments large, spreading and reflexed, the three inner ones much smaller and erect. The stigmas are three in number, enlarged, and each with an appendage resembling a petal, which arches over the corresponding stamen and outer segment of the perianth. In order to reach the honey, insects have to force their way between this segment and the over-arching stigmatic leaf.
The Yam family contains but one British genus, Tamus; with one species, Taimis communis (Black Bryony). A pretty, straggling creeper, dioecious, with small, yellowish green flowers; the male in laxer, the female in closer, racemes.
We have two genera belonging to the Juncaceae (Rushes). Jancus (the Rush), with fourteen species; and Luzula (the Woodrush) with five. They are wind-fertilised, and, at least as regards some species, are proterogynous.
The Cyperaceas (Sedges) are a very numerous group containing eight British genera. The flowers are minute, greenish or brownish, and wind-fertilised, but are sometimes visited by insects for the sake of the pollen.