Pamianthe pseudostem

Jim McKenney
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:55:43 PDT
For those of you who are trying to follow this but are not into botanical terminology, keep in mind that what Dylan properly calls the peduncle is what gardeners are apt to call the scape (i.e. a leafless stalk arising from the ground and bearing flowers at its tip). 

Neither the peduncle nor the pedicel is part of the flower. 

What looks like the stem in flowers such as Pamianthe, Crocus, Colchicum and many others are simply the tepals tightly wrapped around one another and sometimes fused. The tube formed this way is a part of the flower, and the ovary is typically at its base where it connects to the pedicel (if there is one). 

In the genus Merendera something very interesting occurs. When the flowers first appear above ground they seem to have this false stem/floral tube; but as things develop, the tepals of the flower which make up  this false stem/floral tube remain connected at first; but sometimes they begin to separate, sometimes completely resulting in the usually expected six-tepaled flower, or sometimes the little hooks which hold the false stem/floral tube together remain partially connected, resulting in a structure which suggests a spiraled lattice.  If you look closely at this structure, you can see the style (which is attached at its near end to the top of the ovary) projecting up through the lattice like structure and projecting out of the fact of the bloom. 

If you were to carefully cut down the length of the Pamianthe tube, you would see the same thing. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7 where so far we have had a north European summer - and I'm loving it. 

 From: Hannon <>
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 1:51 PM
Subject: [pbs] Pamianthe pseudostem

Nhu makes reference to a "pseudostem" regarding the flowers of Pamianthe
but the concept of a pseudostem is associated with foliage, not flowering
structures. Examples are found in Pamianthe (leafy shoots) as well
as Worsleya, Scadoxus, Musa, etc. The main flowering axis is a peducle to
which the flowers are joined by a pedicel (or they are sessile).

Dylan Hannon
*"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an
useful plant to its culture..." --**Thomas Jefferson*

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