A little over a week ago I posted (here) about our naked ladies (Lycoris squamigera) in their prime and at their best. They grow in two separate places in our garden and have been holding on bravely but, as will happen with all mortal beings, all in one stand most of them in the other have lost their glorious, blushing radiance—all save one. I’m sure it’s the last, as I cannot find any new buds waiting to unfurl. They are among my very favorite garden gracers, and it’s always a little sad to see them wither and fade. But they will be back again next year—and we still have daisies and brown-eyed Susans to savor for a while longer. And we have these memories.
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There is beauty to be appreciated throughout the life cycle and it is up to us to have the vision to see it.
That said, it is hard for the withering, fading blooms to compete with the fresher petals.
Pretty much a universal story, and not only for members of the plant kingdom. The most effective societies are those in which the young understand, appreciate, and revere their ageing members. I’m happy to say that our family belongs to this group!
It’s true that they’re not quite so pretty in this stage, but they’re interesting as can be — especially to someone like me, who doesn’t know much at all about the life cycle of plants. I know these arise from bulbs, but do they also produce seed? They must. I see stamens. But, where is the pistil? Is that single, purple, thread-like part that doesn’t seem to possess an anther part of it? And what’s that swollen green part at the base of the bloom? Is that the ovary?
I know, I know. So many questions. But I got thrown into the plant-reproductive-cycle pool last night, and now I need to either get out, or learn how to swim.
I looked up lily anatomy, and it seems that the terminology is different from that of most other flowers. First, in lieu of petals, the lily has tepals (now, there’s a great Scrabble word!). The six pink structures are called filaments, and the yellow bodies at their tips, where the pollen forms, are the anthers. The elegant, long, pink stalk is the style, and its tip is the stigma (this would be, I believe, the analog of the pistil). And, yes, there is an ovary, which contains the ovule, in which the seeds form, and I’m pretty sure that, in this lily, it’s contained in the green bulb at the base, which stays after all the other withered parts have withered and dropped. Fascinating, eh? Can you swim better now? I can!
Tepals confuse the heck out of me. I know they’re what you have when there aren’t sepals and petals, but I think I need to find a botanist and some examples of real flowers to sort that one out.
Otherwise, we’ve got all the parts, and a little rearranging will do the trick. The lady parts — the stigma, style, and ovary — are collectively known as the pistil. The boy parts — the stamens — are made up of the filament and anther. Things ought to become a little easier when my illustrated glossary of all things plant-ish arrives.
So, thanks! Maybe one more bloom will come along to reward you for your help.
You’re very welcome. I doubt that there will be any more, but I’ll be watching for the next couple of days before I head north again for another week. Whatever happens (or doesn’t), I’ve already been quite amply rewarded.
Very nice! Did your naked ladies post get a lot of views ? ;)
Twenty-six views (and 18 likes), so far. Do you think that’s enough to consider re-posting it as a peep show and charging admission?
I don’t know. I’ve no experience of posting about naked ladies.
Nor have I, except for the floral variety.