Hidden Flowers

“Hidden Flowers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Whenever I have grown a plant that has a flower that is described as being inconspicuous or blooms only if the conditions are right, it usually does not flower at all.  So, I was really surprised when watering the garden today, suddenly I noticed some spots of yellow at the base of one of the plants that has been in the garden at least three or four years.  My sister put in a pond about six years ago, and one of the plants that went in the surrounding garden was palm grass (curculigo capatilata).  When it was large enough to divide, she generously gave me some.  This is supposed to be hardy only in zones 10 and 11, but it has survived well here in zone 8b.  It even survived the great snow of December 12th.  A few of the leaves will get nipped back in the winter, but it has done well so far.  It has broad leaves that are pleated lengthwise, prefers light shade and moist soil.  A very attractive plant.

 

Palm Grass (redu)

 

The flowers are at the base of the plant and are supposed to be rarely seen, but they were seen today in my garden.  They are small, waxy, bright yellow almost daisy-like flowers clustered where they could be easily missed.

 

Palm Grass Flower Cluster (redu)

 

Palm Grass Flower (redu)

 

Makes you wonder what would pollinate a flower so well hidden, and why does it even have flowers when it is propagated by divisions?   While the leaves of this plant do resemble a palm seedling (hence, the name), I was surprised to find out it is related to the amaryllis family.

So, just when I thought I knew everything about the plants in my garden, one surprised me by having flowers I have never seen before.  I guess it is the unexpected showing up that makes gardening fun.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Janet said,

    May 29, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Interesting Jan. I think when blooms are ‘hidden’ from us, they must be such that the pollinator can see (color) or smell the bloom….maybe insignificant to us– the scent could be over powering to a bee or a moth or a fly.

    • Jan said,

      May 29, 2009 at 10:37 am

      Janet, I read just yesterday that palm grass flowers may be pollinated by a nocturnal mouse in its native habitat. That would explain the flower cluster’s short stature. I guess Mother Nature knows best.


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