Friday, December 18, 2015

What's happening in December?

Pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.)! We have several species in two different greenhouses. These are carnivorous plants. Insects and other critters fall into the pitfall trap. Rainfall leaves a pool of water on the bottom, if critters try to climb out, the inside of the trap is covered in wax, causing the animals to fall down again. The plant secretes some enzymes to break down the animals, and some of the animal's own enzymes break down the critters after death.

 This is a flower of a plant in the cactus collection:

I've shown you what a Monstera fruit looks like. Here is the Monstera flower.  The spadix is in the middle. It contains tons of tiny flowers, that are arranged on the spadix like apartments on a high rise building. It swell over the period of a month or more to produce the Monstera fruit. Surrounding the spadix is the spathe. The spathe is a modified leaf and falls off after fertilization.

Yum! Pineapple! This little guy was drooping and fell off the plant when I gave it a nudge. I think the flower was fertilized in September.