In Oman, blossoming of frankincense flower stocks appear twice each year – once in March and once in September.
Each stock contains 20-30 flowers that successively open, usually only 2 per day. The flowers are white and light yellow when they first open. Then the pollinating insects arrive.
Every frankincense tree has an associated colony of ants that live close by in the ground. Look carefully and you will see the goal of each ant is the pollen from the flowers. Ants climb the trunk, branches, and leaflets to get to the flowers.
Honey bees, flies, beetles and butterflies join the ants for pollen and flower nectar. By sunset of the day a flower opens, the flower is cross-pollinated and the yellow center turns red to signify “don’t bother with me”.