Boophone excitement!

Kipp McMichael
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:58:25 PDT


  I emailed a while back regarding the emergence of a bloom stem from one of the Boophone disticha planted-out in my front garden. I dutifully self-pollinated the 100+ flowers over the week or so they bloomed and crossed my fingers.

  The inflorescence slowly matured into an infructescence and began to dry in the days before I left for a 2 week trip to Europe. I returned Sunday to see that the infructescence had completely dried out and increased to the size of a beachball and I decided to cut it for seed-collection the next morning.

  When I went into the yard on Monday, however, I was distraught to discover this:

  Were I live in Berkeley can get quite windy so I was concerned the infructescence could have blown away (my front yard is also right on a busy street which runs in the same direction as the prevailing wind).

  Luckily, I needn't have worried. See if you can find the wayward infructescence in this picture:

  I harvested the seeds this morning. Boophone are clearly reluctant selfers: Out 100+ flowers I only got about 20 seeds and almost all of those were one-to-a-flower.

  If the Boophone disticha harvest were not enough, as I was cleaning some dead weeds from the raised bed in my backyard, I was delighted to see this coming from one of my (until now) juvenile Boophone sp. Aus:

  If anyone is lucky enough to have another Boophone Aus in bloom (I'm talking to you Mr. Knecht ;-) I would love to trade pollen.

  Additionally, I noticed in the selfed Boohpone disticha that the peripheral, earlier-blooming flowers had better seed set than the later blooming central flowers. If anyone has any tips concerning the receptiveness of Boophone flowers to pollination (self and otherwise) with regard to flower age, please let me know.



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