Unusual Flower

Our philodendron has just flowered for the first time in thirty years.

The eight-inch flower spike is somewhat unusual.

Yvonne Dumsday: Definitely worth waiting for Ian. Now it has discovered how to bloom, can you expect it annually or will you have to wait another 30 years? 🤔

Ian in reply: At this rate it could be like Halley’s Comet – you only get to see it once in a lifetime. I’m told it’s usually 16-17 years before a plant flowers for the first time. But I don’t know if it then flowers annually. Right now it has four flower pods; two have opened so far to reveal that startling flower spike.

Doug Jacquier: Excellent. The interweb tells me that it should flower every year now. Re the ongoing risque nature of earlier posts, it goes on to say ‘These plants cannot self-pollinate and require external assistance for reproduction. This is because philodendrons do not have both male and female parts at the same time; their reproductive parts evolve from female to male during the blooming period. When philodendrons are mature enough and ready to reproduce, they develop the female organ which lets out a fragrance as a signal. When it has undergone pollination, this then evolves into the male part and is ready to produce pollen.’

Ian in reply: Thank you. A trans-gender plant – it’s even more interesting than I thought. Although the term “fragrance” is perhaps a tad over-generous.

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